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Unemployment Dynamics in the OECD

Author

Listed:
  • Michael W.L. Elsby

    (University of Edinburgh, and NBER)

  • Bart Hobijn

    (FRB San Francisco, and VU University Amsterdam)

  • Aysegul Sahin

    (FRB New York)

Abstract

We provide a set of comparable estimates for the rates of inflow to and outflow fromunemployment using publicly available data for fourteen OECD economies. We thendevise a method to decompose changes in unemployment into contributions accountedfor by changes in inflow and outflow rates for cases where unemployment deviates fromits flow steady state, as it does in many countries. Our decomposition reveals thatfluctuations in both inflow and outflow rates contribute substantially to unemploymentvariation within countries. For Anglo-Saxon economies we find approximately a 15:85inflow/outflow split to unemployment variation, while for Continental European andNordic countries, we observe much closer to a 45:55 split. Using the estimated flowrates we compute gross worker flows into and out of unemployment. In all economieswe observe that increases in inflows lead increases in unemployment, whereas outflows lag a ramp up in unemployment.

Suggested Citation

  • Michael W.L. Elsby & Bart Hobijn & Aysegul Sahin, 2011. "Unemployment Dynamics in the OECD," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 11-159/3, Tinbergen Institute.
  • Handle: RePEc:tin:wpaper:20110159
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Unemployment; Worker flows; Job Finding Rate; Separation Rate;
    All these keywords.

    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
    • J6 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers

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