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A State-Level Analysis of Okun's Law

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  • Amy Guisinger

    (George Washington University)

  • Ruben Hernandez-Murillo
  • Michael Owyang
  • Tara Sinclair

    () (Institute for International Economic Policy, George Washington University)

Abstract

Okun’s law is an empirical relationship that measures the correlation between the deviation of the unemployment rate from its natural rate and the deviation of output growth from its potential. In this paper, we estimate Okun’s coefficients for each U.S. state and examine the potential factors that explain the heterogeneity of the estimated Okun relationships. We find that indicators of more flexible labor markets (higher levels of education achievement in the population, lower rate of unionization, and a higher share of non-manufacturing employment) are important determinants of the differences in Okun’s coefficient across states. Finally, we show that Okun’s relationship is not stable across specifications, which can lead to inaccurate estimates of the potential determinants of Okun’s coefficient.

Suggested Citation

  • Amy Guisinger & Ruben Hernandez-Murillo & Michael Owyang & Tara Sinclair, 2015. "A State-Level Analysis of Okun's Law," Working Papers 2015-17, The George Washington University, Institute for International Economic Policy.
  • Handle: RePEc:gwi:wpaper:2015-17
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    Cited by:

    1. Porras, María Sylvina & Martín-Román, Ángel L., 2017. "Self-employment and Okun’s Law relationship: the Spanish case," GLO Discussion Paper Series 157, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    2. Bande, Roberto & Martín-Román, Ángel, 2018. "Regional differences in the Okun’s Relationship: New Evidence for Spain (1980-2015)," INVESTIGACIONES REGIONALES - Journal of REGIONAL RESEARCH, Asociación Española de Ciencia Regional, issue 41, pages 137-165.
    3. Kavese Kambale & Phiri Andrew, 2020. "A Provincial Perspective of Nonlinear Okun’s Law for Emerging Markets: The Case of South Africa," Studia Universitatis „Vasile Goldis” Arad – Economics Series, Sciendo, vol. 30(3), pages 59-76, September.
    4. Goto, Eiji & Bürgi, Constantin, 2021. "Sectoral Okun's law and cross-country cyclical differences," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 94(C), pages 91-103.
    5. Diellza Kukaj, 2018. "Impact of Unemployment on Economic Growth: Evidence from Western Balkans," European Journal of Marketing and Economics, European Center for Science Education and Research, vol. 1, EJME Janu.
    6. Mbekeni, Lutho & Phiri, Andrew, 2019. "South African unemployment in the post-financial crisis era: What are the determinants?," MPRA Paper 94159, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Haroon Mumtaz & Laura Sunder‐Plassmann & Angeliki Theophilopoulou, 2018. "The State‐Level Impact of Uncertainty Shocks," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 50(8), pages 1879-1899, December.
    8. Martin Boďa & Mariana Považanová, 2020. "Formal and statistical aspects of estimating Okun's law at a regional level," Papers in Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 99(4), pages 1113-1136, August.
    9. Herrera, Ana María & Rangaraju, Sandeep Kumar, 2019. "The quantitative effects of tax foresight: Not all states are equal," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 107(C), pages 1-1.
    10. Arabinda Basistha & Casto Martin Montero Kuscevic, 2017. "The role of spatial GDP spillovers in state-level Okun’s law," Letters in Spatial and Resource Sciences, Springer, vol. 10(3), pages 353-360, October.
    11. Ondřej Dvouletý & Alisa Gordievskaya & David Anthony Procházka, 2018. "Investigating the relationship between entrepreneurship and regional development: case of developing countries," Journal of Global Entrepreneurship Research, Springer;UNESCO Chair in Entrepreneurship, vol. 8(1), pages 1-9, December.
    12. Mindaugas Butkus & Kristina Matuzeviciute & Dovile Rupliene & Janina Seputiene, 2020. "Does Unemployment Responsiveness to Output Change Depend on Age, Gender, Education, and the Phase of the Business Cycle?," Economies, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 8(4), pages 1-29, November.
    13. Grant, Angelia L., 2018. "The Great Recession and Okun's law," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 69(C), pages 291-300.

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    • C32 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Time-Series Models; Dynamic Quantile Regressions; Dynamic Treatment Effect Models; Diffusion Processes; State Space Models
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • R11 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Regional Economic Activity: Growth, Development, Environmental Issues, and Changes

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