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Who Suffers During Recessions?

Author

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  • Hilary W. Hoynes
  • Douglas L. Miller
  • Jessamyn Schaller

Abstract

In this paper we examine how business cycles affect labor market outcomes in the United States. We conduct a detailed analysis of how cycles affect outcomes differentially across persons of differing age, education, race, and gender, and we compare the cyclical sensitivity during the Great Recession to that in the early 1980s recession. We present raw tabulations and estimate a state panel data model that leverages variation across US states in the timing and severity of business cycles. We find that the impacts of the Great Recession are not uniform across demographic groups and have been felt most strongly for men, black and Hispanic workers, youth, and low education workers. These dramatic differences in the cyclicality across demographic groups are remarkably stable across three decades of time and throughout recessionary periods and expansionary periods. For the 2007 recession, these differences are largely explained by differences in exposure to cycles across industry-occupation employment.

Suggested Citation

  • Hilary W. Hoynes & Douglas L. Miller & Jessamyn Schaller, 2012. "Who Suffers During Recessions?," NBER Working Papers 17951, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:17951
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Ann H. Stevens & Douglas L. Miller & Marianne E. Page & Mateusz Filipski, 2015. "The Best of Times, the Worst of Times: Understanding Pro-cyclical Mortality," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 7(4), pages 279-311, November.
    2. Chinhui Juhn & Simon Potter, 2006. "Changes in Labor Force Participation in the United States," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(3), pages 27-46, Summer.
    3. Gary Solon & Robert Barsky & Jonathan A. Parker, 1994. "Measuring the Cyclicality of Real Wages: How Important is Composition Bias?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 109(1), pages 1-25.
    4. Jesse Rothstein, 2011. "Unemployment Insurance and Job Search in the Great Recession," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 42(2 (Fall)), pages 143-213.
    5. Davis, Steven J. & Faberman, R. Jason & Haltiwanger, John, 2012. "Labor market flows in the cross section and over time," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(1), pages 1-18.
    6. Marianne Bitler & Hilary W. Hoynes, 2010. "The State of the Safety Net in the Post-Welfare Reform Era," NBER Working Papers 16504, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Jaeger, David A, 1997. "Reconciling the Old and New Census Bureau Education Questions: Recommendations for Researchers," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 15(3), pages 300-309, July.
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    9. Henry S. Farber, 2011. "Job Loss in the Great Recession: Historial Perspective from the Displaced Workers Survey, 1984-2010," Working Papers 1309, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
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    11. Henry S. Farber, 2011. "Job Loss in the Great Recession: Historical Perspective from the Displaced Workers Survey, 1984-2010," NBER Working Papers 17040, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J11 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Demographic Trends, Macroeconomic Effects, and Forecasts
    • J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure

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