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Macroeconomic Shocks and the Probability of Being Employed


  • Kornstad, Tom

    () (Statistics Norway)

  • Nymoen, Ragnar

    () (Dept. of Economics, University of Oslo)

  • Skjerpen, Terje

    () (Statistics Norway)


Macroeconomic theories take polar views on the importance of choice versus chance. At the micro level, it seems realistic to assume that both dimensions play a role for individual employment outcomes, although it might be difficult to separate these two effects. Nevertheless the choice and chance dimension are seldom treated symmetrically in models that use micro data. We estimate a logistic model of the probability of being employed among married or cohabitating women that are in the labor force. Besides variables that measure individual characteristics (choice), we allow a full set of indicator variables for observation periods that represent potential effects of aggregate shocks (chance) on job probabilities. To reduce the number of redundant indicator variables as far as possible and in a systematic way, an automatic model selection is used, and we assess the economic interpretation of the statistically significant indicator variables with reference to a theoretical framework that allows for friction in the Norwegian labor market. In addition, we also estimate models that use the aggregate female and male unemployment rates as ‘sufficient’ variables for the chance element in individual employment outcomes. Data are for Norway and span the period 1988q22008q4.

Suggested Citation

  • Kornstad, Tom & Nymoen, Ragnar & Skjerpen, Terje, 2012. "Macroeconomic Shocks and the Probability of Being Employed," Memorandum 03/2012, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:osloec:2012_003

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Mortensen, Dale & Pissarides, Christopher, 2011. "Job Creation and Job Destruction in the Theory of Unemployment," Economic Policy, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration, vol. 1, pages 1-19.
    2. Robert E. Hall, 2005. "Job Loss, Job Finding, and Unemployment in the U.S. Economy Over the Past Fifty Years," NBER Working Papers 11678, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    6. John Dagsvik & Tom Kornstad & Terje Skjerpen, 2013. "Labor force participation and the discouraged worker effect," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 45(1), pages 401-433, August.
    7. Per Krusell & Toshihiko Mukoyama & Richard Rogerson & Ayşegül Şahin, 2010. "Aggregate labor market outcomes: The roles of choice and chance," Quantitative Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 1(1), pages 97-127, July.
    8. Mortensen, Dale T. & Pissarides, Christopher A., 2016. "Job Matching, Wage Dispersion, and Unemployment," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198779995, June.
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    More about this item


    Job probability; Automatic model selection; Random utility modeling;

    JEL classification:

    • C21 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Cross-Sectional Models; Spatial Models; Treatment Effect Models
    • J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure
    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search

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