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Housing Booms, Manufacturing Decline, and Labor Market Outcomes

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  • Kerwin Kofi Charles
  • Erik Hurst
  • Matthew J. Notowidigdo

Abstract

We study the extent to which manufacturing decline and local housing booms contributed to changes in labor market outcomes during the 2000s, focusing primarily on the distributional consequences across geographical areas and demographic groups. Using a local labor markets design, we estimate that manufacturing decline significantly reduced employment between 2000 and 2006, while local housing booms increased employment by roughly the same magnitude. The effects of manufacturing decline persist through 2012, but we find no persistent employment effects of local housing booms, likely because housing booms were associated with subsequent busts of similar magnitude. These results suggest that housing booms “masked” negative employment growth that would have otherwise occurred earlier in the absence of the booms. This “masking” occurred both within and between cities and demographic groups. For example, manufacturing decline disproportionately affected older men without a college education, while the housing boom disproportionately affected younger men and women, as well as immigrants. Applying our local labor market estimates to the national labor market, we find that roughly 40 percent of the reduction in employment during the 2000s can be attributed to manufacturing decline and that these negative effects would have appeared in aggregate employment statistics earlier had it not been for the large, temporary increases in housing demand.

Suggested Citation

  • Kerwin Kofi Charles & Erik Hurst & Matthew J. Notowidigdo, 2013. "Housing Booms, Manufacturing Decline, and Labor Market Outcomes," NBER Working Papers 18949, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:18949
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    Cited by:

    1. Luc Laeven & Alexander Popov, 2016. "A Lost Generation? Education Decisions and Employment Outcomes during the US Housing Boom-Bust Cycle of the 2000s," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 106(5), pages 630-635, May.
    2. Daron Acemoglu & David Autor & David Dorn & Gordon H. Hanson & Brendan Price, 2016. "Import Competition and the Great US Employment Sag of the 2000s," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 34(S1), pages 141-198.
    3. Andrew Foote & Michel Grosz & Ann Stevens, 2015. "Locate Your Nearest Exit: Mass Layoffs and Local Labor Market Response," Working Papers 15-25, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    4. Stephanie Aaronson & Tomaz Cajner & Bruce Fallick & Felix Galbis-Reig & Christopher Smith & William Wascher, 2014. "Labor Force Participation: Recent Developments and Future Prospects," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 45(2 (Fall)), pages 197-275.
    5. Manuel Adelino & Song Ma & David T. Robinson, 2014. "Firm Age, Investment Opportunities, and Job Creation," NBER Working Papers 19845, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Luc Laeven & Alexander Popov, 2017. "Waking Up from the American Dream: On the Experience of Young Americans during the Housing Boom of the 2000s," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 49(5), pages 861-895, August.
    7. Gould, Eric D, 2015. "Explaining the Unexplained: Residual Wage Inequality, Manufacturing Decline, and Low-Skilled Immigration," CEPR Discussion Papers 10649, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    8. Robert J. Gordon, 2014. "The Demise of U.S. Economic Growth: Restatement, Rebuttal, and Reflections," NBER Working Papers 19895, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Marco Di Maggio & Amir Kermani, 2016. "The Importance of Unemployment Insurance as an Automatic Stabilizer," NBER Working Papers 22625, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Kaivo-oja, Jari & Roth, Steffen & Westerlund, Leo, 2016. "Futures of robotics. Human work in digital transformation," EconStor Open Access Articles, ZBW - German National Library of Economics.
    11. Sumit Agarwal & Gene Amromin & Souphala Chomsisengphet & Tim Landvoigt & Tomasz Piskorski & Amit Seru & Vincent Yao, 2015. "Mortgage Refinancing, Consumer Spending, and Competition: Evidence from the Home Affordable Refinancing Program," NBER Working Papers 21512, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Burke, Mary A., 2014. "Rhode Island in the Great Recession: factors contributing to its sharp downturn and slow recovery," Current Policy Perspectives 14-9, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
    13. Brian C. Cadena & Brian K. Kovak, 2016. "Immigrants Equilibrate Local Labor Markets: Evidence from the Great Recession," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 8(1), pages 257-290, January.
    14. Kaivo-oja, Jari & Roth, Steffen, 2015. "The Technological Future of Work and Robotics," EconStor Preprints 118693, ZBW - German National Library of Economics.
    15. Schnepel, Kevin, 2014. "Good Jobs and Recidivism," Working Papers 2014-10, University of Sydney, School of Economics.
    16. Frey, Carl Benedikt & Osborne, Michael A., 2017. "The future of employment: How susceptible are jobs to computerisation?," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 114(C), pages 254-280.
    17. Benjamin J. Keys & Tomasz Piskorski & Amit Seru & Vincent Yao, 2014. "Mortgage Rates, Household Balance Sheets, and the Real Economy," NBER Working Papers 20561, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    18. Christopher L. Smith, 2013. "The dynamics of labor market polarization," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2013-57, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    19. Martin Beraja & Erik Hurst & Juan Ospina, 2016. "The Aggregate Implications of Regional Business Cycles," NBER Working Papers 21956, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    20. Kerwin Kofi Charles & Erik Hurst & Matthew J. Notowidigdo, 2015. "Housing Booms and Busts, Labor Market Opportunities, and College Attendance," NBER Working Papers 21587, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure

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