NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Reassessing the Ins and Outs of Unemployment

Robert Shimer

NBER Working Paper No. 13421
Issued in September 2007
NBER Program(s):   EFG   LS

This paper uses readily accessible data to measure the probability that an employed worker becomes unemployed and the probability that an unemployed worker finds a job, the ins and outs of unemployment. Since 1948, the job finding probability has accounted for three-quarters of the fluctuations in the unemployment rate in the United States and the employment exit probability for one-quarter. Fluctuations in the employment exit probability are quantitatively irrelevant during the last two decades. Using the underlying microeconomic data, the paper shows that these results are not due to compositional changes in the pool of searching workers, nor are they due to movements of workers in and out of the labor force. These results contradict the conventional wisdom that has guided the development of macroeconomic models of the labor market during the last fifteen years.

download in pdf format
   (406 K)

email paper

This paper is available as PDF (406 K) or via email.

Machine-readable bibliographic record - MARC, RIS, BibTeX

Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w13421

Published: Robert Shimer, 2012. "Reassessing the Ins and Outs of Unemployment," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 15(2), pages 127-148, April. citation courtesy of

Users who downloaded this paper also downloaded these:
Hall Job Loss, Job Finding and Unemployment in the U.S. Economy over the Past 50 Years
Elsby, Hobijn, and Sahin w14617 Unemployment Dynamics in the OECD
Hall w11678 Job Loss, Job Finding, and Unemployment in the U.S. Economy Over the Past Fifty Years
Elsby, Michaels, and Solon w12853 The Ins and Outs of Cyclical Unemployment
Rogerson and Shimer w15901 Search in Macroeconomic Models of the Labor Market
 
Publications
Activities
Meetings
NBER Videos
Data
People
About

Support
National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138; 617-868-3900; email: info@nber.org

Contact Us