IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

The Recent Evolution of the Natural Rate of Unemployment

  • Daly, Mary C.

    ()

    (Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco)

  • Hobijn, Bart

    ()

    (Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco)

  • Valletta, Robert G.

    ()

    (Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco)

The U.S. economy is recovering from the financial crisis and ensuing deep recession, but the unemployment rate has remained stubbornly high. Some have argued that the persistent elevation of unemployment relative to historical norms reflects the fact that the shocks that hit the economy were especially disruptive to labor markets and likely to have long lasting effects. If such structural factors are at work they would result in a higher underlying natural or nonaccelerating inflation rate of unemployment, implying that conventional monetary and fiscal policy should not be used in an attempt to return unemployment to its pre-recession levels. We investigate the hypothesis that the natural rate of unemployment has increased since the recession began, and if so, whether the underlying causes are transitory or persistent. We begin by reviewing a standard search and matching model of unemployment, which shows that two curves – the Beveridge curve (BC) and the Job Creation curve (JCC) – determine equilibrium unemployment. Using this framework, our joint theoretical and empirical exercise suggests that the natural rate of unemployment has in fact risen over the past several years, by an amount ranging from 0.6 to 1.9 percentage points. This increase implies a current natural rate in the range of 5.6 to 6.9 percent, with our preferred estimate at 6.25 percent. After examining evidence regarding the effects of labor market mismatch, extended unemployment benefits, and productivity growth, we conclude that only a small fraction of the recent increase in the natural rate is likely to persist beyond a five-year forecast horizon.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://ftp.iza.org/dp5832.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 5832.

as
in new window

Length: 40 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2011
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as 'A Search and Matching Approach to Labor Markets: Did the Natural Rate of Unemployment Rise?' in: Journal of Economic Perspectives, 2012, 26 (3), 3-26
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp5832
Contact details of provider: Postal: IZA, P.O. Box 7240, D-53072 Bonn, Germany
Phone: +49 228 3894 223
Fax: +49 228 3894 180
Web page: http://www.iza.org

Order Information: Postal: IZA, Margard Ody, P.O. Box 7240, D-53072 Bonn, Germany
Email:


References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Bowden, Roger J, 1980. "On the Existence and Secular Stability of u-v Loci," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 47(185), pages 35-50, February.
  2. Susanto Basu & John Fernald & Miles Kimball, 2004. "Are technology improvements contractionary?," Working Paper Series WP-04-20, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  3. Reinhart, Carmen M. & Rogoff, Kenneth S., 2009. "The Aftermath of Financial Crises," Scholarly Articles 11129155, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  4. Steven J. Davis & R. Jason Faberman & John C. Haltiwanger, 2010. "The Establishment-Level Behavior of Vacancies and Hiring," NBER Working Papers 16265, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Daniel J. Wilson, 2010. "Is the recent productivity boom over?," FRBSF Economic Letter, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue sep20.
  6. Michael W. L. Elsby & Bart Hobijn & Aysegul Sahin, 2010. "The Labor Market in the Great Recession," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 41(1 (Spring), pages 1-69.
  7. Mortensen, Dale T., 1994. "The cyclical behavior of job and worker flows," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 18(6), pages 1121-1142, November.
  8. Athanasios Orphanides & John C. Williams, 2003. "Robust monetary policy rules with unknown natural rates," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2003-11, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  9. Sam Schulhofer-Wohl, 2010. "Negative equity does not reduce homeowners' mobility," Working Papers 682, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  10. David Card & Phillip B. Levine, 1998. "Extended Benefits and the Duration of UI Spells: Evidence from the New Jersey Extended Benefit Program," NBER Working Papers 6714, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Christopher Pissarides, 2007. "The unemployment volatility puzzle: is wage stickiness the answer?," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 4460, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  12. Nicholas Bloom, 2007. "The Impact of Uncertainty Shocks," NBER Working Papers 13385, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Thijs van Rens, 2005. "Organizational Capital and Employment Fluctuations," 2005 Meeting Papers 427, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  14. Petrongolo, Barbara & Pissarides, Christopher, 2000. "Looking Into The Black Box: A Survey Of The Matching Function," CEPR Discussion Papers 2409, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  15. Chetty, Raj, 2008. "Moral Hazard versus Liquidity and Optimal Unemployment Insurance," Scholarly Articles 9751256, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  16. Michael R. Darby & John Haltiwanger & Mark Plant, 1984. "Unemployment-Rate Dynamics and Persistent Unemployment Under RAtional Expectations," UCLA Economics Working Papers 339, UCLA Department of Economics.
  17. Michael R. Darby & John C. Haltiwanger & Mark W. Plant, 1986. "The Ins and Outs of Unemployment: The Ins Win," NBER Working Papers 1997, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Robert G. Valletta, 2005. "Why has the U.S. Beveridge curve shifted back? new evidence using regional data," Working Paper Series 2005-25, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  19. Greg Kaplan & Sam Schulhofer-Wohl, 2012. "Interstate Migration Has Fallen Less Than You Think: Consequences of Hot Deck Imputation in the Current Population Survey," Demography, Springer, vol. 49(3), pages 1061-1074, August.
  20. Ramey, Garey & Shigeru Fujita, 2006. "The Cyclicality of Job Loss and Hiring," University of California at San Diego, Economics Working Paper Series qt4nz8p839, Department of Economics, UC San Diego.
  21. Bentolila, Samuel & Bertola, Giuseppe, 1990. "Firing Costs and Labour Demand: How Bad Is Eurosclerosis?," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 57(3), pages 381-402, July.
  22. Joyce Kwok & Mary Daly & Bart Hobijn, 2010. "Labor force participation and the future path of unemployment," FRBSF Economic Letter, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue sep13.
  23. Mary Daly & Bart Hobijn, 2010. "Okun’s law and the unemployment surprise of 2009," FRBSF Economic Letter, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue mar8.
  24. Daniel Aaronson & Bhashkar Mazumder & Shani Schechter, 2010. "What is behind the rise in long-term unemployment?," Economic Perspectives, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, issue Q II, pages 28-51.
  25. Raj Chetty, 2008. "Erratum: Moral Hazard versus Liquidity and Optimal Unemployment Insurance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 116(6), pages 1197-1197, December.
  26. Michael W. L. Elsby & Bart Hobijn & Ayşegül Şahin, 2013. "Unemployment Dynamics in the OECD," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 95(2), pages 530-548, May.
  27. Christina D. Romer & David H. Romer, 1994. "What Ends Recessions?," NBER Working Papers 4765, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    • Christina D. Romer & David H. Romer, 1994. "What Ends Recessions?," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1994, Volume 9, pages 13-80 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  28. Regis Barnichon & Michael Elsby & Bart Hobijn & Aysegül Sahin, 2010. "Which industries are shifting the Beveridge curve?," Working Paper Series 2010-32, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  29. Barnichon, Regis, 2010. "Building a composite Help-Wanted Index," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 109(3), pages 175-178, December.
  30. Vincent Sterk, 2010. "Home Equity, Mobility, and Macroeconomic Fluctuations," DNB Working Papers 265, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
  31. Katharine G. Abraham, 1987. "Help-Wanted Advertising, Job Vacancies, and Unemployment," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 18(1), pages 207-248.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp5832. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Mark Fallak)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.