Scholarly Contribution to Database/Website

Beyond Okun’s law: Introducing labour market flows

Jan van Ours, Guay Lim, Robert Dixon

Published : 2019


One version of Okun’s law specifies a relationship between the change in the unemployment rate and output growth. This column uses US labour market flows data to investigate this relationship between 1990 and 2017. It finds that the net flows between employment and unemployment are sensitive to changes in growth but respond differently to positive and negative changes. This implies that the US Okun relationship is stable but asymmetric, the effect of a change being larger in contractionary periods than in expansionary ones.