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Business Cycle Properties of Job Polarization Using Consistent Occupational Data


  • Myungkyu Shim
  • Hee-Seung Yang


A significant obstacle to studying business cycle properties of job polarization has been the presence of inconsistencies in aggregate employment data for different occupation groups. In order to overcome this problem, we construct aggregate hours series using the method of 'conversion factors', which was originally developed by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. After showing that our data outperform previously available data in terms of consistency, we analyze two business cycle properties of job polarization that have not yet been studied before: (1) the changes in volatility of employment of each occupation group since the mid-1980s and (2) the asymmetric effects of recessions on employment of different occupation groups. We find that employment volatility of middle-skill occupations has decreased by 40% since the mid-1980s due to jobless recoveries observed in the last three recessions.

Suggested Citation

  • Myungkyu Shim & Hee-Seung Yang, 2014. "Business Cycle Properties of Job Polarization Using Consistent Occupational Data," Monash Economics Working Papers 17-14, Monash University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:mos:moswps:2014-17

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    Business cycle; Job polarization; Consistency; Occupation; Conversion factor;

    JEL classification:

    • C82 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs - - - Methodology for Collecting, Estimating, and Organizing Macroeconomic Data; Data Access
    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles

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