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Cyclical Unemployment, Structural Unemployment

  • Peter A. Diamond

Whenever unemployment stays high for an extended period, it is common to see analyses, statements, and rebuttals about the extent to which the high unemployment is structural, not cyclical. This essay views the Beveridge Curve pattern of unemployment and vacancy rates and the related matching function as proxies for the functioning of the labor market and explores issues in that proxy relationship that complicate such analyses. Also discussed is the concept of mismatch.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 18761.

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Date of creation: Feb 2013
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Publication status: published as Peter Diamond, 2013. "Cyclical Unemployment, Structural Unemployment," IMF Economic Review, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 61(3), pages 410-455, August.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:18761
Note: EFG LS ME
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  1. George A. Akerlof & Andrew K. Rose & Janet L. Yellen, 1988. "Job Switching and Job Satisfaction in the U.S. Labor Market," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 19(2), pages 495-594.
  2. Michael W.L. Elsby & Bart Hobijn & Aysegül Sahin, 2013. "On the importance of the participation margin for market fluctuations," Working Paper Series 2013-05, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  3. Robert E. Hall, 2011. "The Long Slump," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(2), pages 431-69, April.
  4. Jesse Rothstein, 2011. "Unemployment Insurance and Job Search in the Great Recession," NBER Working Papers 17534, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Giuseppe Moscarini & Fabien Postel-Vinay, 2012. "The Contribution of Large and Small Employers to Job Creation in Times of High and Low Unemployment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(6), pages 2509-39, October.
  6. Olivier Jean Blanchard & Peter Diamond, 1990. "Ranking, Unemployment Duration, and Wages," NBER Working Papers 3387, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Coles, Melvyn G & Smith, Eric, 1996. "Cross-Section Estimation of the Matching Function: Evidence from England and Wales," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 63(252), pages 589-97, November.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. Pascal Michaillat, 2010. "Do Matching Frictions Explain Unemployment? Not in Bad Times," CEP Discussion Papers dp1024, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  11. Regis Barnichon & Michael Elsby & Bart Hobijn & Aysegül Sahin, 2010. "Which industries are shifting the Beveridge curve?," Working Paper Series 2010-32, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  12. Gadi Barlevy, 2011. "Evaluating the role of labor market mismatch in rising unemployment," Economic Perspectives, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, issue Q III, pages 82-96.
  13. Peter Rodenburg, 2011. "The remarkable transformation of the UV curve in economic theory," The European Journal of the History of Economic Thought, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 18(1), pages 125-153.
  14. Edward P. Lazear & James R. Spletzer, 2012. "The United States Labor Market: Status Quo or A New Normal?," Working Papers 12-28, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  15. Oliver Jean Blanchard & Peter Diamond, 1989. "The Beveridge Curve," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 20(1), pages 1-76.
  16. Marianna Kudlyak & Felipe Schwartzman, 2012. "Accounting for unemployment in the Great Recession : nonparticipation matters," Working Paper 12-04, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
  17. Regis Barnichon & Andrew Figura, 2011. "What drives matching efficiency? a tale of composition and dispersion," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2011-10, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  18. Shigeru Fujita, 2011. "Effects of extended unemployment insurance benefits: evidence from the monthly CPS," Working Papers 10-35, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  19. Borsch-Supan, Axel H, 1991. "Panel Data Analysis of the Beveridge Curve: Is There a Macroeconomic Relation between the Rate of Unemployment and the Vacancy Rate?," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 58(231), pages 279-97, August.
  20. Henry Hyatt & Erika McEntarfer, 2012. "Job-to-Job Flows and the Business Cycle," Working Papers 12-04, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  21. Bart Hobijn, 2012. "The industry-occupation mix of U.S. job openings and hires," Working Paper Series 2012-09, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  22. Bruce 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.).
  23. Mary C. Daly & Bart Hobijn & Aysegül Sahin & Robert G. Valletta, 2012. "A Search and Matching Approach to Labor Markets: Did the Natural Rate of Unemployment Rise?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 26(3), pages 3-26, Summer.
  24. Moscarini, Giuseppe & Thomsson, Kaj, 2006. "Occupational and Job Mobility in the US," Working Papers 19, Yale University, Department of Economics.
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