IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

Reassessing the Ins and Outs of Unemployment

  • Robert Shimer

This paper uses readily accessible data to measure the probability that an employed worker becomes unemployed and the probability that an unemployed worker finds a job, the ins and outs of unemployment. Since 1948, the job finding probability has accounted for three-quarters of the fluctuations in the unemployment rate in the United States and the employment exit probability for one-quarter. Fluctuations in the employment exit probability are quantitatively irrelevant during the last two decades. Using the underlying microeconomic data, the paper shows that these results are not due to compositional changes in the pool of searching workers, nor are they due to movements of workers in and out of the labor force. These results contradict the conventional wisdom that has guided the development of macroeconomic models of the labor market during the last fifteen years.

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://www.nber.org/papers/w13421.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 13421.

as
in new window

Length:
Date of creation: Sep 2007
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Robert Shimer, 2012. "Reassessing the Ins and Outs of Unemployment," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 15(2), pages 127-148, April.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:13421
Note: EFG LS
Contact details of provider: Postal:
National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.

Phone: 617-868-3900
Web page: http://www.nber.org
Email:


More information through EDIRC

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. Michael Elsby & Bart Hobijn & Aysegül Sahin, 2010. "The labor market in the Great Recession," Working Paper Series 2010-07, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  2. Steve J. Davis & John Haltiwanger, 1991. "Gross Job Creation, Gross Job Destruction and Employment Reallocation," NBER Working Papers 3728, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. 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.
  4. Gottschalk, Peter & Moffitt, Robert, 1999. "Changes in Job Instability and Insecurity Using Monthly Survey Data," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 17(4), pages S91-126, October.
  5. Michael J. Pries, 2004. "Persistence of Employment Fluctuations: A Model of Recurring Job Loss," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 71(1), pages 193-215.
  6. Solon, Gary, 1986. "Effects of Rotation Group Bias on Estimation of Unemployment," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 4(1), pages 105-09, January.
  7. Robert E. Hall, 2005. "Employment Efficiency and Sticky Wages: Evidence from Flows in the Labor Market," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 87(3), pages 397-407, August.
  8. Cole, Harold L & Rogerson, Richard, 1999. "Can the Mortensen-Pissarides Matching Model Match the Business-Cycle Facts?," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 40(4), pages 933-59, November.
  9. Abbring, J.H. & van den Berg, G. & van Ours, J.C., 1999. "The Anatomy of Unemployment Dynamics," Discussion Paper 1999-81, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  10. Mortensen, Dale & Pissarides, Christopher, 2011. "Job Creation and Job Destruction in the Theory of Unemployment," Economic Policy, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration, vol. 1, pages 19 pages.
  11. Yashiv, Eran, 2006. "U.S. Labor Market Dynamics Revisited," IZA Discussion Papers 2455, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  12. Bruce C. Fallick & Charles A. Fleischman, 2004. "Employer-to-employer flows in the U.S. labor market: the complete picture of gross worker flows," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2004-34, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  13. R. Jason Faberman, 2004. "Gross Job Flows over the Past Two Business Cycles: Not all 'Recoveries' are Created Equal," Working Papers 372, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
  14. van den Berg, Gerard J. & van der Klaauw, Bas, 2000. "Combining Micro and Macro Unemployment Duration Data," IZA Discussion Papers 109, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  15. J. Heckman & B. Singer, 1984. "The Identifiability of the Proportional Hazard Model," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 51(2), pages 231-241.
  16. Stephen T. Marston, 1976. "Employment Instability and High Unemployment Rates," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 7(1), pages 169-210.
  17. Wouter J. den Haan & Garey Ramey & Joel Watson, 1997. "Job Destruction and Propagation of Shocks," NBER Working Papers 6275, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Davis, Steven J. & Faberman, R. Jason & Haltiwanger, John C., 2005. "The Flow Approach to Labor Markets: New Data Sources, Micro-Macro Links and the Recent Downturn," IZA Discussion Papers 1639, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  19. Ricardo Caballero & Muhamad Hammour, 1999. "The Cost of Recessions Revisited: A Reverse-Liquidationist View," Working papers 99-22, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  20. Robert E. Hall, 1995. "Lost Jobs," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 26(1, 25th A), pages 221-274.
  21. Shigeru Fujita & Garey Ramey, 2007. "The cyclicality of separation and job finding rates," Working Papers 07-19, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  22. Gary Solon & Ryan Michaels & Michael W. L. Elsby, 2009. "The Ins and Outs of Cyclical Unemployment," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 1(1), pages 84-110, January.
  23. George L. Perry, 1972. "Unemployment Flows in the U.S. Labor Market," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 3(2), pages 245-292.
  24. Dynarski, Mark & Sheffrin, Steven M, 1990. "The Behavior of Unemployment Durations over the Cycle," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 72(2), pages 350-56, May.
  25. Louis S. Jacobson & Robert J. LaLonde & Daniel G. Sullivan, 1992. "Earnings losses of displaced workers," Working Paper Series, Macroeconomic Issues 92-28, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  26. Katharine G. Abraham & Robert Shimer, 2001. "Changes in Unemployment Duration and Labor Force Attachment," NBER Working Papers 8513, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  27. Baker, Michael, 1992. "Unemployment Duration: Compositional Effects and Cyclical Variability," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(1), pages 313-21, March.
  28. Abowd, John M & Zellner, Arnold, 1985. "Estimating Gross Labor-Force Flows," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 3(3), pages 254-83, June.
  29. Michael Elsby & Bart Hobijn & Aysegül Sahin & Robert G. Valletta, 2011. "The labor market in the Great Recession: an update," Working Paper Series 2011-29, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  30. Barro, Robert J., 1977. "Long-term contracting, sticky prices, and monetary policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(3), pages 305-316, July.
  31. Garey Ramey & Joel Watson, 1997. "Contractual Fragility, Job Destruction, and Business Cycles," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(3), pages 873-911.
  32. Robert Shimer, 2005. "The Cyclical Behavior of Equilibrium Unemployment and Vacancies," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 25-49, March.
  33. Christopher L. Foote, 1998. "Trend Employment Growth and the Bunching of Job Creation and Destruction," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1818, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
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:nbr:nberwo:13421. 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: ()

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.