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The Asymmetric Cyclical Behavior of the U.S. Labor Market

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  • Domenico Ferraro

    (Duke University)

Abstract

Cyclical fluctuations in the U.S. labor market and output exhibit a significant asymmetry. In this paper, I develop a search-and-matching model with endogenous job destruction and permanently heterogeneous workers (in skill/productivity) that accounts for this asymmetry while also generating (i) realistic volatility in unemployment and job-finding rates and (ii) preserving a downward-sloping Beveridge curve. The model delivers stark predictions for the time series of skill-specific unemployment rates that hold in CPS micro data once I sort workers by age and education. A general implication of the analysis is that the responsiveness of unemployment to stimulus policies increases substantially during recessions.

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  • Domenico Ferraro, 2014. "The Asymmetric Cyclical Behavior of the U.S. Labor Market," 2014 Meeting Papers 1104, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  • Handle: RePEc:red:sed014:1104
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    2. Kohlbrecher, Britta & Merkl, Christian, 2016. "Business Cycle Asymmetries and the Labor Market," IZA Discussion Papers 9816, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    3. Kohlbrecher, Britta & Merkl, Christian & Nordmeier, Daniela, 2016. "Revisiting the matching function," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 69(C), pages 350-374.
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    6. Francesco Zanetti & Konstantinos Theodoridis, 2018. "State Dependence in Labor Market Fluctuations: Evidence, Theory, and Policy Implications," Economics Series Working Papers 856, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
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    8. Kasey Buckles & Daniel Hungerman & Steven Lugauer, 2018. "Is Fertility a Leading Economic Indicator?," NBER Working Papers 24355, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Jitender Singh & Arup Mitra, 2016. "Cyclical asymmetries and short-run relation between employment and output: the case of organised manufacturing in India," The Indian Journal of Labour Economics, Springer;The Indian Society of Labour Economics (ISLE), vol. 59(2), pages 203-216, June.
    10. Ryo Horii & Yoshiyasu Ono, 2020. "Financial Crisis and Slow Recovery with Bayesian Learning Agents," ISER Discussion Paper 1085, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University.
    11. Antoine Lepetit, 2020. "Asymmetric Unemployment Fluctuations and Monetary Policy Trade-Offs," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 36, pages 29-45, April.
    12. Canyon Bosler & Mary C. Daly & John G. Fernald & Bart Hobijn, 2017. "The Outlook for US Labor-Quality Growth," NBER Chapters, in: Education, Skills, and Technical Change: Implications for Future US GDP Growth, pages 61-110, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    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
    • J63 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Turnover; Vacancies; Layoffs
    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search

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