The persistence of local joblessness

Michael Amior*, Alan Manning

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Scopus citations


Differences in employment-population ratios across US commuting zones have persisted for many decades. We claim these disparities represent real gaps in economic opportunity for individuals of fixed characteristics. These gaps persist despite a strong migratory response, and we attribute this to high persistence in labor demand shocks. These trends generate a "race" between local employment and population: Population always lags behind employment, yielding persistent deviations in employment rates. Methodologically, we argue the employment rate can serve as a sufficient statistic for local well-being; and we model population and employment dynamics using an error correction mechanism, which explicitly allows for disequilibrium.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1942-1970
Number of pages29
JournalAmerican Economic Review
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2018

Bibliographical note

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© 2018 American Economic Association. All rights reserved.


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