Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Labor Force Participation Dynamics

Epstein, Brendan (2018): Labor Force Participation Dynamics.

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Abstract

It is well known that the U.S. labor force participation rate (LFP) is procyclical. I highlight that, in contrast, LFP is negatively correlated with labor productivity even though GDP and productivity are positively correlated. I show that these opposite correlations are explained by the differential dynamic adjustment of LFP given exoge- nous shocks to, alternatively, GDP and productivity. My analysis is guided by the theoretical underpinnings of the benchmark model of equilibrium unemployment. This guidance is important, as it helps reveal that the cyclical behavior of job vacancies explains a considerable fraction of the cyclical behavior of LFP.

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