IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Why Does Employment in All Major Sectors Move Together over the Business Cycle?

  • Yaniv Yedid-Levi

    (The University of British Columbia)

Registered author(s):

    In recessions, employment falls in all major sectors. Positive correlation of employment across sectors is a puzzle, because a standard two-sector business-cycle model driven by aggregate productivity shocks predicts negative correlation of total hours of work in the consumption-goods sector and the investment-goods sector. I start from the observation that most of the variability of total hours worked takes the form of variations in the number of workers. Hours per employed worker is only a secondary source of variation. The exten- sive margin is therefore critical in understanding the positive correlation of sectoral labor market variables, yet neglected by existing studies. This paper advances the literature on cross-sectoral correlation of employment by making unemployment an explicit feature of the model. I construct a two sector model with search and matching friction, capital ad- justment costs, and partial wage stickiness. The model explains the positive cross-sectoral correlation through movements of workers in both sectors into and out of unemployment.

    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:
    Download Restriction: no

    Paper provided by Society for Economic Dynamics in its series 2012 Meeting Papers with number 677.

    in new window

    Date of creation: 2012
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:red:sed012:677
    Contact details of provider: Postal: Society for Economic Dynamics Marina Azzimonti Department of Economics Stonybrook University 10 Nicolls Road Stonybrook NY 11790 USA
    Web page:

    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. Trabandt, Mathias & Uhlig, Harald, 2010. "How far are we from the slippery slope? The Laffer curve revisited," Working Paper Series 1174, European Central Bank.
    2. Andreas Hornstein & Jack Praschnik, 1997. "Intermediate inputs and sectoral comovement in the business cycle," Working Paper 97-06, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
    3. Petrongolo, Barbara & Pissarides, Christopher, 2000. "Looking Into The Black Box: A Survey Of The Matching Function," CEPR Discussion Papers 2409, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    4. Galí, Jordi & van Rens, Thijs, 2010. "The Vanishing Procyclicality of Labor Productivity," IZA Discussion Papers 5099, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    5. Christian Haefke & Marcus Sonntag & Thijs van Rens, 2007. "Wage rigidity and job creation," Economics Working Papers 1047, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Apr 2012.
    6. Leena Rudanko, 2009. "Aggregate and Idiosyncratic Risk in a Frictional Labor Market," 2009 Meeting Papers 468, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    7. Max Floetotto & Nir Jaimovich & Seth Pruitt, 2009. "Markup variation and endogenous fluctuations in the price of investment goods," International Finance Discussion Papers 968, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    8. Russell W. Cooper & John C. Haltiwanger, 2006. "On the Nature of Capital Adjustment Costs," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 73(3), pages 611-633.
    9. Marcus Hagedorn & Iourii Manovskii, 2007. "The Cyclical Behavior of Equilibrium Unemployment and Vacancies Revisited," IEW - Working Papers 351, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
    10. Diamond, Peter A, 1982. "Aggregate Demand Management in Search Equilibrium," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 90(5), pages 881-94, October.
    11. Christopher A. Pissarides, 2009. "The Unemployment Volatility Puzzle: Is Wage Stickiness the Answer?," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 77(5), pages 1339-1369, 09.
    12. Jaimovich, Nir & Rebelo, Sérgio, 2006. "Can News About the Future Drive the Business Cycle?," CEPR Discussion Papers 5877, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    13. Lawrence J. Christiano & Michele Boldrin & Jonas D. M. Fisher, 2001. "Habit Persistence, Asset Returns, and the Business Cycle," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(1), pages 149-166, March.
    14. Mark Gertler & Antonella Trigari, 2006. "Unemployment fluctuations with staggered Nash wage bargaining," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
    15. Sergio Rebelo, 2005. "Real Business Cycle Models: Past, Present and Future," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 107(2), pages 217-238, 06.
    16. Mortensen, Dale T & Pissarides, Christopher A, 1994. "Job Creation and Job Destruction in the Theory of Unemployment," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 61(3), pages 397-415, July.
    17. DiCecio, Riccardo, 2009. "Sticky wages and sectoral labor comovement," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 33(3), pages 538-553, March.
    18. Andolfatto, David, 1996. "Business Cycles and Labor-Market Search," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(1), pages 112-32, March.
    19. Robert E. Hall & Paul R. Milgrom, 2005. "The Limited Influence of Unemployment on the Wage Bargain," NBER Working Papers 11245, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    20. Robert E. Hall, 2004. "Measuring Factor Adjustment Costs," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 119(3), pages 899-927, August.
    21. Steven Cassou & Jesús Vázquez, 2014. "Employment comovements at the sectoral level over the business cycle," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 46(4), pages 1301-1323, June.
    22. Benhabib, Jess & Rogerson, Richard & Wright, Randall, 1991. "Homework in Macroeconomics: Household Production and Aggregate Fluctuations," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(6), pages 1166-87, December.
    23. Pissarides, Christopher A, 1985. "Short-run Equilibrium Dynamics of Unemployment Vacancies, and Real Wages," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(4), pages 676-90, September.
    24. Richard Blundell & Luigi Pistaferri & Ian Preston, 2008. "Consumption Inequality and Partial Insurance," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(5), pages 1887-1921, December.
    25. Bjoern Bruegemann & Giuseppe Moscarini, 2010. "Rent Rigidity, Asymmetric Information, and Volatility Bounds in Labor," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 13(3), pages 575-596, July.
    26. Robert Shimer, 2007. "Reassessing the Ins and Outs of Unemployment," NBER Working Papers 13421, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    27. Mortensen, Dale T, 1982. "Property Rights and Efficiency in Mating, Racing, and Related Games," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(5), pages 968-79, December.
    28. Robert Shimer, 2005. "The Cyclical Behavior of Equilibrium Unemployment and Vacancies," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 25-49, March.
    29. Sharon G. Harrison, 2003. "Returns to Scale and Externalities in the Consumption and Investment Sectors," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 6(4), pages 963-976, October.
    30. Merz, Monika, 1995. "Search in the labor market and the real business cycle," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 269-300, November.
    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:red:sed012:677. 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: (Christian Zimmermann)

    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.