I focus on two aspects of Job loss. First, I examine evidence on the
incidence of job loss by worker and job characteristics including age,
education, race, sex, industry, and tenure over the period from 1982 to 1991.
Second, I examine the cost of job loss to workers in the form of 1) lower
post-displacement employment probabilities, 2) lower probabilities of
full-time employment for re—employed workers, and 3) lower earnings for
Using data from Displaced Workers Surveys (DWS) from 1984 through 1992
to study job loss from 1982-91, I find that older workers and more educated
workers are relatively more likely to suffer a job loss in the latter part of
this period. Additionally, job loss became more common in some important
service industries and relatively less common in manufacturing during the
latter part of the ten-year period studied.
Supplementing the DWS data with data from the outgoing rotation groups
of the Current Population Survey from 1982-1991, I find that displaced workers
are, relative to non-displaced workers, 1) less likely to be employed and 2)
more likely to be employed part-time conditional on being employed. These
effects seem to decline with time since displacement. There is no systematic
secular change in these costs of displacement, either in the aggregate or for
particular groups. Finally, I examine the earnings losses of full-time
re—employed displaced workers by comparing their earnings change with the
earnings change of full-time employed workers who were not displaced. I find,
consistent with what others have found, that these earnings losses are
Overall, the costs to displaced workers of job loss are substantial and
come in several forms. However, the public perception that the current
sluggish economy is worse than earlier downturns may reflect more who has lost
jobs recently rather than either increased overall job loss or increased costs
to those who are losing Jobs.
I focus on two aspects of Job loss. First, I examine evidence on the
Recent efforts to expand unemployment insurance (UI) eligibility are expected to increase low-earning workers’ access to UI. Although the expansion’s aim is to smooth the
income and consumption of previously ineligible workers, it is possible that UI benefits simply displace other sources of income. Standard economic models predict that UI delays reemployment, thereby reducing wage income. Additionally, low-earning workers are often eligible for benefits from means-tested programs, which may decrease with UI benefits. In this paper, we estimate the impact of UI eligibility on employment, means-tested program participation, and income after job loss using a unique individual-level administrative data set from the state of Michigan. To identify a causal effect, we implement a fuzzy regression discontinuity design around the minimum earnings threshold for UI eligibility. Our main finding is that while UI eligibility increases jobless durations by up to 25 percent and temporarily lowers receipt of cash assistance (TANF) by 63 percent, the net impact on total income is still positive and large: In the quarter immediately following job loss, UI-eligible workers have 46-61 percent higher incomes than ineligibles.
This paper provides new evidence on time use and subjective well-being of employed and unemployed individuals in 14 countries. We devote particular attention to characterizing and modeling job search intensity, measured by the amount of time devoted to searching for a new job. Job search intensity varies considerably across countries, and is higher in countries that have higher wage dispersion. We also examine the relationship between unemployment benefits and job search.
While policymakers often promote further education for displaced workers, evidence on its effectiveness in the U.S. context primarily comes from evaluations of specific government sponsored training programs, which only represent one narrow avenue for skill acquisition. This paper studies the returns to retraining among unemployed workers, where retraining is broadly defined as enrollment in community colleges, four-year institutions, and technical centers. We link together high quality administrative records from the state of Ohio and estimate the returns using a matching design in which we compare the labor market outcomes of similar workers who do and do not enroll. Our matching specification is informed by a separate validation exercise in the spirit of LaLonde (1986), which evaluates a wide array of estimators using a combination of experimental and non-experimental data in a setting similar to ours. We graphically present the average quarterly earnings trajectories of the enrollees and matched non-enrollees over a nine-year period and show that there is little difference in earnings pre-enrollment, followed by temporarily depressed earnings among enrollees during the first two years after enrolling, and sustained positive returns thereafter. We find that enrollees experience an average earnings gain of seven percent three to four years after enrolling, and that the returns are driven by those who switch industries, particularly to healthcare.
This paper examines the impact of selected labor market changes on the decline in the unemployment rate in the 1990s. The ﬁrst section provides an overview of aggregate unemployment trends, inﬂation, and price and wage Phillips curves. The second section examines the effect of demographic changes on the unemployment rate. The third section examines the impact of the 150 percent increase in the number of men in jail or prison since 1985 on the unemployment rate. The fourth section examines the impact of evolving labor market intermediaries (namely worker proﬁling by the Unemployment Insurance system and the growth of the temporary help industry) on the unemployment rate. The ﬁfth section explores whether worker bargaining power has become weaker, allowing for low unemployment and only modest wage pressure, because of worker job anxiety, the decline in union membership, or increased competitive pressures. The ﬁnal section examines the impact of the tightest labor market in a generation on poverty. Our main ﬁndings are that changes in the age structure of the labor force, the growth of the male prison population, and, more speculatively, the rise of the temporary help sector, are the main labor market forces behind the low unemployment rate in the late 1990s.
This paper studies the effects of the introduction of ﬁxed-term contracts in Spain on the duration distribution of unemployment, with particular emphasis on the changes in duration
dependence. Since the introduction of ﬁxed-term contracts in the mid 1980s, the Spanish labor market has become more dynamic in terms of inﬂows and outﬂows from unemployment to employment. I estimate a parametric duration model using cross-sectional data drawn from the Spanish Labor Force Survey from 1980 to 1994, which allows me to analyze the chances of leaving unemployment before and after the introduction of ﬁxed-term contracts. I ﬁnd evidence that for very short durations, of up to ﬁve months, the probability of leaving unemployment has increased since the introduction of ﬁxed-term contracts. But the reverse is true for longer durations. Also, the chances of ﬁnding a job are signiﬁcantly higher for those workers who became unemployed because their ﬁxed-term contract came to an end than for
those who lost their job for other reasons. In addition, there is less duration dependence for
those who lost their job due to the expiration of a ﬁxed-term contract than for those who lost their job for other reasons.
During the 1980s a substantial gap emerged between unemployment rates in Canada and the
United States. In this paper, we use microdata from labor force surveys at the beginning and
end of the decade to examine the sources of the emergent gap. As in earlier work, we ﬁnd that
most of the relative rise in unemployment in Canada is attributable to an increase in the relative
"labor force attachment" of Canadians, rather than to any shortfall in relative employment.
Indeed, relative employment rates increased in Canada over the 1980s for younger workers and
for adult women. The relative rise in labor force attachment of Canadians is manifested by a
sharp increase in the propensity of non-workers to report themselves as unemployed (i.e. looking
for work) rather than out-of-the-labor force. This change is especially pronounced for individuals
who work just enough to qualify for unemployment insurance (UI) in Canada. Moreover, two-
thirds of the relative increase in weeks of unemployment among non-workers is associated with
the divergent trends in UI recipiency in the two countries. Both ﬁndings point to the availability
of UI beneﬁts as an important determinant of the labor force attachment of nonworkers.
In this paper we provide theoretical and empirical analyses of an
asymmetric-information model of layoffs in which the current employer is
better informed about its workers’ abilities than prospective employers
are. The key feature of the model is that when firms have discretion with
respect to whom to lay off, the market infers that laid-off workers are of
low ability. Since no such negative inference should be attached to
workers displaced in a plant closing, our model predicts that the post-
displacement wages of otherwise observationally equivalent workers will be
higher for those displaced by plant closings than for those displaced by
layoffs. A simple extension of our model predicts that the post-
displacement unemployment duration of otherwise observationally equivalent
workers will be lower for those displaced by plant closings than for those
displaced by layoffs.
In our empirical work, we use data from the Displaced Workers Supplements
in the January l984 and 1986 Current Population Surveys. For our whole
sample, we find that the evidence (with respect to both re-employment wages
and post-displacement unemployment duration) is consistent with the idea
that laid-off workers are viewed less favorably by the market than are
those losing jobs in plant closings. Furthermore, our findings are much
stronger for workers laid-off from jobs where employers have discretion
over whom to lay off, and much weaker for workers laid-off from jobs where
employers have little or no discretion over whom to lay off.
This paper analyzes the results of the New Jersey Unemployment
Insurance Reemployment Demonstration Project (NJUIRDP) and presents a
framework for understanding the effects of the reemployment bonus and Job
Search Assistance (JSA) aspects of the program. A simple search model
which allows the possibility of recall leads to predictions about the time
pattern of the effects of a bonus offer on new job finding. The
experimental nature of the NJUIRDP allows the effect of the bonus to be
isolated, and evidence is found for a positive effect early in the bonus
period. This is consistent with the model. Evidence is also found that
initial expectation of recall has a negative effect on the new job finding
rate, but that this effect disappears over time. This is interpreted as
reflecting the updating of recall expectations, as pointed to by the search
model. This important interaction between time and recall expectations
implies that if JSA can speed up the adjustment of those expectations, the
new job finding rate will be increased. Evidence suggesting just such an
effect is found when the JSA treatment is isolated.
In this paper Lilien's (1982) hypothesis that sectoral shifts in employment
raise aggregate unemployment is tested using Canadian quarterly data. Lilien's
framework is extended to investigate regional labour market rigidities and to
distinguish between industry shifts that are correlated with changes in aggregate
activity, and those which are exogenous to the overall level of activity. The
robustness of the results to various changes in model specification is also
investigated. I find that in Canada exogenous shifts in employment between
sectors do not have a significant effect on the aggregate unemployment rate.