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Beyond Okun's Law: Output Growth and Labor Market Flows

Author

Listed:
  • Guay C. Lim

    (Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research)

  • Robert Dixon

    (University of Melbourne)

  • Jan (J.C.) van Ours

    (Erasmus University Rotterdam)

Abstract

This paper studies the relationship between the change in the unemployment rate and output growth using an approach based on labor market flows. The framework shows why the Okun coefficient may be constant/time-varying and/or symmetric/asymmetric and that the outcome lies with the behavior of the labor flows in response to growth. The encompassing framework nests the conditions to determine the properties of the Okun coefficient without the need to rely on retrospective arbitrary dating of recessions. The framework also highlights the potential misspecification in conventional models of Okun's Law unless stringent conditions are assumed about the behavior of labor flows. The empirical analysis is based on the stock-consistent labor market flows data developed by the BLS for the period 1990:2-2017:3.

Suggested Citation

  • Guay C. Lim & Robert Dixon & Jan (J.C.) van Ours, 2018. "Beyond Okun's Law: Output Growth and Labor Market Flows," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 18-097/V, Tinbergen Institute.
  • Handle: RePEc:tin:wpaper:20180097
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Fontanari, Claudia & Palumbo, Antonella & Salvatori, Chiara, 2020. "Potential Output in Theory and Practice: A Revision and Update of Okun's Original Method," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 247-266.
    2. Benos, Nikos & Stavrakoudis, Athanassios, 2020. "Okun's Law: Copula-based Evidence from G7 Countries," MPRA Paper 103318, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Labor flows; Time-varying Okun; Asymmetry;
    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
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure

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