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The Nature of Occupational Unemployment Rates in the United States: Hysteresis or Structural?

  • Candelon, Bertrand


    (Maastricht University)

  • Dupuy, Arnaud



  • Gil-Alana, Luis A.


    (University of Navarra)

This paper provides new evidence on the nature of occupational differences in unemployment dynamics, which is relevant for the debate between the structural or hysteresis hypotheses. We develop a procedure that permits us to test for the presence of a structural break at unknown date. Our approach allows the investigation of a broader range of persistence than the 0/1 paradigm about the order of integration, usually implemented for testing the hypothesis of hysteresis in occupational unemployment. In almost all occupations, we find support for both the structuralist and the hysteresis hypotheses, but stress the importance of estimating the degree of persistence of seasonal shocks along with the degree of long-run persistence on raw data without applying seasonal filters. Indeed hysteresis appears to be underestimated when data are initially adjusted using traditional seasonal filters.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 3571.

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Length: 26 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2008
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Applied Economics, 2009, 41, 2483-93
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp3571
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  1. Nickell, S.J. & van Ours, J.C., 1999. "The Netherlands and the United Kingdom : A European Unemployment Miracle?," Discussion Paper 1999-119, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  2. Miron, Jeffrey A & Beaulieu, J Joseph, 1996. "What Have Macroeconomists Learned about Business Cycles form the Study of Seasonal Cycles?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 78(1), pages 54-66, February.
  3. Edmund S. Phelps, 1999. "Behind This Structural Boom: The Role of Asset Valuations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(2), pages 63-68, May.
  4. van Dijk, D.J.C. & Strikholm, B. & Terasvirta, T., 2001. "The effects of institutional and technological change and business cycle fluctiations on seasonal patterns in quarterly industrial production series," Econometric Institute Research Papers EI 2001-12, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Erasmus School of Economics (ESE), Econometric Institute.
  5. Olivier Blanchard & Justin Wolfers, 1999. "The Role of Shocks and Institutions in the Rise of European Unemployment: The Aggregate Evidence," NBER Working Papers 7282, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Nickell, Stephen, 1998. "Unemployment: Questions and Some Answers," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 108(448), pages 802-16, May.
  7. Hassler, Uwe & Wolters, Jurgen, 1994. "On the power of unit root tests against fractional alternatives," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 45(1), pages 1-5, May.
  8. Gil-Alana, Luis A., 2002. "Structural breaks and fractional integration in the US output and unemployment rate," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 77(1), pages 79-84, September.
  9. David H. Papell & Christian J. Murray & Hala Ghiblawi, 2000. "The Structure of Unemployment," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 82(2), pages 309-315, May.
  10. Luis A. Gil-Alana & S. G. Brian Henry, 2003. "Fractional Integration and the Dynamics of UK Unemployment," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 65(2), pages 221-239, 05.
  11. Jussi Tolvi, 2003. "Unemployment persistence of different labour force groups in Finland," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 10(8), pages 455-458.
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