Cyclical Unemployment: Sectoral Shifts or Aggregate Disturbances?
Recent work by David Lilien has argued that the existence of a strong positive correlation between the dispersion of employment growth rates across sectors (G) and the unemployment rate implies that shifts in demand from some sectors to others are responsible for a substantial fraction of cyclical variation in unemployment. This paper demonstrates that, under certain empirically satisfied conditions, aggregate demand movements alone can produce a positive correlation between G and the unemployment rate. Two tests are developed which permit one to distinquish between a pure sectoral shift interpretation and a pure aggregate demand interpretation of this positive correlation. The finding that G and the volume of help wanted advertising are negatively related and the finding that G is directly associated with the change in unemployment rather than with the level of unemployment both support an aggregate demand interpretation. A proxy for sectoral shifts that is purged of the influence of aggregate demand is then developed. Models which allow sectoral shifts in the composition of demand and fluctuations in the aggregate level of demand to affect the unemployment rate independently are estimated using this proxy. The results support the view that pure sectoral shifts have not been an important source of cyclical fluctuations in unemployment.
|Date of creation:||Jul 1984|
|Date of revision:|
|Publication status:||published as Abraham, Katherine G. and Lawrence F. Katz. "Cyclical Unemployment: Sectoral Shifts or Aggregate Disturbances?" Journal of Political Economy, Vol. 94 , No. 3, (June 1986), pp. 507-522.|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
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.:
- Jackman, R & Layard, Richard & Pissarides, C, 1989. "On Vacancies," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 51(4), pages 377-94, November.
- Robert J. Barro, 1976.
"Unanticipated Money Growth and Unemployment in the United States,"
234, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
- Barro, Robert J, 1977. "Unanticipated Money Growth and Unemployment in the United States," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(2), pages 101-15, March.
- Robert J. Barro & Mark Rush, 1979.
"Unanticipated Money and Economic Activity,"
NBER Working Papers
0339, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Charles Holt & Martin David, 1966. "The Concept of Job Vacancies in a Dynamic Theory of the Labor Market," NBER Chapters, in: The Measurement and Interpretation of Job Vacancies, pages 73-110 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Barro, Robert J, 1984. "Rational Expectations and Macroeconomics in 1984," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(2), pages 179-82, May.
- Sherwin Rosen, 1983.
"Unemployment and Insurance,"
NBER Working Papers
1095, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Rosen, Sherwin, 1983. "Unemployment and insurance," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 5-49, January.
- Abraham, Katharine G, 1983. "Structural-Frictional vs. Deficient Demand Unemployment: Some New Evidence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(4), pages 708-24, September.
- Rothschild, Michael & Stiglitz, Joseph E., 1970. "Increasing risk: I. A definition," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 2(3), pages 225-243, September.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:1410. 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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.