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Decomposing the Ins and Outs of Cyclical Unemployment

  • Ronald Bachmann

    ()

  • Mathias Sinning

This paper analyzes the contribution of the socioeconomic and demographic composition of the pool of employed and unemployed individuals to the dynamics of the labor market in different phases of the business cycle. Using individual level data from the Current Population Survey (CPS), we decompose differences in employment status transition rates between economic upswings and downturns into composition effects and behavioral effects. We find that overall composition effects play a minor role for the cyclicality of the unemployment outflow rate, although the contribution of the duration of unemployment is significant. In contrast, composition effects dampen the cyclicality of the unemployment inflow rate considerably. We further observe that the initially positive contribution of composition effects to a higher unemployment outflow rate turns negative over the course of the recession.

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Paper provided by Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen in its series Ruhr Economic Papers with number 0305.

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Length: 30 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:rwi:repape:0305
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  1. F. L. Jones, 1983. "On Decomposing the Wage Gap: A Critical Comment on Blinder's Method," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 18(1), pages 126-130.
  2. Shigeru Fujita & Garey Ramey, 2009. "The Cyclicality Of Separation And Job Finding Rates," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 50(2), pages 415-430, 05.
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  6. Michael R. Darby & John C. Haltiwanger & Mark W. Plant, 1986. "The Ins and Outs of Unemployment: The Ins Win," UCLA Economics Working Papers 411, UCLA Department of Economics.
  7. Elder, Todd E. & Goddeeris, John H. & Haider, Steven J., 2009. "Unexplained Gaps and Oaxaca-Blinder Decompositions," IZA Discussion Papers 4159, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. Michael W. Elsby & Ryan Michaels & Gary Solon, 2007. "The Ins and Outs of Cyclical Unemployment," NBER Working Papers 12853, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. David Neumark, 1988. "Employers' Discriminatory Behavior and the Estimation of Wage Discrimination," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 23(3), pages 279-295.
  10. Yun, Myeong-Su, 2003. "A Simple Solution to the Identification Problem in Detailed Wage Decompositions," IZA Discussion Papers 836, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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  13. Reimers, Cordelia W, 1983. "Labor Market Discrimination against Hispanic and Black Men," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 65(4), pages 570-79, November.
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  16. Alan S. Blinder, 1973. "Wage Discrimination: Reduced Form and Structural Estimates," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 8(4), pages 436-455.
  17. Ronald L. Oaxaca & Michael R. Ransom, 1999. "Identification in Detailed Wage Decompositions," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 81(1), pages 154-157, February.
  18. Michael Pries, 2008. "Worker Heterogeneity and Labor Market Volatility in Matching Models," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 11(3), pages 664-678, July.
  19. F. L. Jones & Jonathan Kelley, 1984. "Decomposing Differences between Groups," Sociological Methods & Research, , vol. 12(3), pages 323-343, February.
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