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


  • Candelon, Bertrand

    () (Maastricht University)

  • Dupuy, Arnaud

    () (University of Luxembourg)

  • 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.

Suggested Citation

  • Candelon, Bertrand & Dupuy, Arnaud & Gil-Alana, Luis A., 2008. "The Nature of Occupational Unemployment Rates in the United States: Hysteresis or Structural?," IZA Discussion Papers 3571, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp3571

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Blanchard, Olivier & Wolfers, Justin, 2000. "The Role of Shocks and Institutions in the Rise of European Unemployment: The Aggregate Evidence," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(462), pages 1-33, March.
    2. Dick van Dijk 1 & Birgit Strikholm & Timo Teräsvirta, 2003. "The effects of institutional and technological change and business cycle fluctuations on seasonal patterns in quarterly industrial production series," Econometrics Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 6(1), pages 79-98, June.
    3. Jussi Tolvi, 2003. "Unemployment persistence of different labour force groups in Finland," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 10(8), pages 455-458.
    4. Steve Nickell & Jan van Ours, 2000. "The Netherlands and the United Kingdom: a European unemployment miracle?," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 15(30), pages 135-180, April.
    5. 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.
    6. 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.
    7. 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.
    8. 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.
    9. 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, May.
    10. Nickell, Stephen, 1998. "Unemployment: Questions and Some Answers," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 108(448), pages 802-816, May.
    11. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. Alina Sorgner & Michael Fritsch, 2013. "Occupational Choice and Self-Employment - Are They Related?," Jena Economic Research Papers 2013-001, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.

    More about this item


    fractional integration; structural break; occupational unemployment; structuralist; hysteresis;

    JEL classification:

    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • C22 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Time-Series Models; Dynamic Quantile Regressions; Dynamic Treatment Effect Models; Diffusion Processes
    • J62 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Job, Occupational and Intergenerational Mobility; Promotion

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