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Demographic Differences in Cyclical Employment Variation

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  • Kim B. Clark
  • Lawrence H. Summers

Abstract

Demographic differences in patterns of employment variation over the business cycle are examined in this paper. Three primary conclusions emerge. First, both participation and unemployment must be considered in any analysis of cyclical changes in the labor market. Second, young people bear a disproportionate share of cyclical employment variation. Third, failure to consider participation has led to undue pessimism about the effect of aggregate demand policy on high unemployment groups. If participation did not surge, reduction in overall unemployment to its 1969 level would reduce the unemployment of almost all demographic groups to very low levels.

Suggested Citation

  • Kim B. Clark & Lawrence H. Summers, 1980. "Demographic Differences in Cyclical Employment Variation," NBER Working Papers 0514, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:0514
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    1. Arthur M. Okun, 1973. "Upward Mobility in a High-Pressure Economy," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 4(1), pages 207-262.
    2. Kim B. Clark & Lawrence H. Summers, 1982. "Labour Force Participation: Timing and Persistence," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 49(5), pages 825-844.
    3. Michael L. Wachter, 1977. "Intermediate Swings in Labor-Force Participation," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 8(2), pages 545-576.
    4. Ben-Porath, Yoram, 1973. "Labor-Force Participation Rates and the Supply of Labor," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(3), pages 697-704, May-June.
    5. Richard B. Freeman & James L. Medoff, 1982. "The Youth Labor Market Problem in the United States: An Overview," NBER Chapters, in: The Youth Labor Market Problem: Its Nature, Causes, and Consequences, pages 35-74, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. George L. Perry, 1977. "Potential Output and Productivity," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 8(1), pages 11-60.
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