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Okun's law - a meta analysis

Author

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  • Roger Perman

    (Department of Economics, University of Strathclyde)

  • Stephan Gaetan

    (CREM)

  • Christophe Tavera

    (CREM)

Abstract

This paper seeks to identify whether there is a representative empirical Okun’s Law coefficient (OLC) and to measure its size. We carry out a meta regression analysis on a sample of 269 estimates of the OLC to uncover reasons for differences in empirical results and to estimate the ‘true’ OLC. On statistical (and other) grounds, we find it appropriate to investigate two separate subsamples, using respectively (some measure of) unemployment or output as dependent variable. Our results can be summarized as follows. First, there is evidence of type II publication bias in both sub-samples, but a type I bias is present only among the papers using some measure of unemployment as the dependent variable. Second, after correction for publication bias, authentic and statistically significant OLC effects are present in both sub-samples. Third, bias-corrected estimated true OLCs are significantly lower (in absolute value) with models using some measure of unemployment as the dependent variable. Using a bivariate MRA approach, the estimated true effects are -0.25 for the unemployment sub-sample and -0.61 for the output-sub sample; with a multivariate MRA methodology, the estimated true effects are -0.40 and -1.02 for the unemployment and the output-sub samples respectively.

Suggested Citation

  • Roger Perman & Stephan Gaetan & Christophe Tavera, 2013. "Okun's law - a meta analysis," Working Papers 1311, University of Strathclyde Business School, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:str:wpaper:1311
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Stanley, T.D. & Doucouliagos, Chris & Jarrell, Stephen B., 2008. "Meta-regression analysis as the socio-economics of economics research," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 276-292, February.
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    3. Apel, Mikael & Jansson, Per, 1999. "A theory-consistent system approach for estimating potential output and the NAIRU," Economics Letters, Elsevier, pages 271-275.
    4. Blackley, Paul R., 1991. "The measurement and determination of Okun's Law: Evidence from state economies," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 13(4), pages 641-656.
    5. T. D. Stanley, 2008. "Meta-Regression Methods for Detecting and Estimating Empirical Effects in the Presence of Publication Selection," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, pages 103-127.
    6. T. D. Stanley, 2005. "Beyond Publication Bias," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 19(3), pages 309-345, July.
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    9. Ho-Chuan (River) Huang & Ya-Kai Chang, 2005. "INVESTIGATING OKUN's LAW BY THE STRUCTURAL BREAK WITH THRESHOLD APPROACH: EVIDENCE FROM CANADA," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 73(5), pages 599-611, September.
    10. Owyang, Michael T. & Sekhposyan, Tatevik, 2012. "Okun’s law over the business cycle: was the great recession all that different?," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Sep, pages 399-418.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. van Ours, J.C., 2015. "The Great Recession was not so Great," Discussion Paper 2015-006, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
    2. Dixon, Robert & Lim, Guay C. & van Ours, Jan C., 2016. "Revisiting Okun's Relationship," CEPR Discussion Papers 11184, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    3. Celia Melguizo, 2017. "An analysis of Okun’s law for the Spanish provinces," Review of Regional Research: Jahrbuch für Regionalwissenschaft, Springer;Gesellschaft für Regionalforschung (GfR), vol. 37(1), pages 59-90, February.
    4. repec:eee:reecon:v:71:y:2017:i:4:p:690-703 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. repec:wly:econjl:v::y:2017:i:605:p:f236-f265 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Görg, Holger & Henze, Philipp & Jienwatcharamongkhol, Viroj & Kopasker, Daniel & Molana, Hassan & Montagna, Catia & Sjöholm, Fredrik, 2017. "Firm size distribution and employment fluctuations: Theory and evidence," Research in Economics, Elsevier, pages 690-703.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Okuns law; meta analysis; Okun's law coefficient; OLC;

    JEL classification:

    • E3 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles
    • E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • E6 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook

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