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Jobless Recoveries

  • David Andolfatto

    (Simon Fraser University)

  • Glenn MacDonald

    (Washington University in St. Louis)

Historically, when an economy emerges from recession, employment grows with, or soon after, the resumption of GDP growth. However, following the two most recent recessions in the United States, employment growth has lagged the recovery in GDP by several quarters, a phenomenon thathas been termed the 'jobless recovery.' To many, a jobless recovery defies explanation since it violates both historical patterns and the predictions of traditional macro theory. We show that a recession followed by a jobless recovery is precisely what neoclassical theory predicts when new technology impacts different sectors of the economy unevenly and is slow to diffuse, and sectoral adjustments in the labor market take time to unfold.

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Paper provided by EconWPA in its series Macroeconomics with number 0412014.

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Length: 27 pages
Date of creation: 30 Dec 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpma:0412014
Note: Type of Document - pdf; pages: 27
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  1. Lippi, Marco & Reichlin, Lucrezia, 1993. "Diffusion of Technical Change and the Decomposition of Output into Trend and Cycle," CEPR Discussion Papers 775, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. repec:fth:simfra:95-08 is not listed on IDEAS
  3. Lilien, David M, 1982. "Sectoral Shifts and Cyclical Unemployment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 90(4), pages 777-93, August.
  4. David Andolfatto & Glenn MacDonald, 1998. "Technology Diffusion and Aggregate Dynamics," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 1(2), pages 338-370, April.
  5. Greenwood, Jeremy & MacDonald, Glenn M & Zhang, Guang-Jia, 1996. "The Cyclical Behavior of Job Creation and Job Destruction: A Sectoral Model," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 7(1), pages 95-112, January.
  6. Peter L. Rousseau & Boyan Jovanovic, 2004. "General Purpose Technologies," 2004 Meeting Papers 103, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  7. Bresnahan, Timothy F. & Trajtenberg, M., 1995. "General purpose technologies 'Engines of growth'?," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 83-108, January.
  8. Erica L. Groshen & Simon M. Potter, 2003. "Has structural change contributed to a jobless recovery?," Current Issues in Economics and Finance, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, vol. 9(Aug).
  9. Boyan Jovanovic & Glenn MacDonald, 1993. "Competitive Diffusion," NBER Working Papers 4463, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Mark Bils & Peter J. Klenow, 2004. "Some Evidence on the Importance of Sticky Prices," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(5), pages 947-985, October.
  11. Macdonald, G.M., 1988. "Competitive Diffusion," University of Chicago - Economics Research Center 88-10, Chicago - Economics Research Center.
  12. Paul Beaudry & Franck Portier, 2004. "Stock Prices, News and Economic Fluctuations," NBER Chapters, in: Enhancing Productivity (NBER-CEPR-TCER-Keio conference) National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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