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American Economic Review: Vol. 102 No. 3 (May 2012)

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Unemployment in the Great Recession: Did the Housing Market Crisis Prevent the Unemployed from Moving to Take Jobs?

Article Citation

Farber, Henry S. 2012. "Unemployment in the Great Recession: Did the Housing Market Crisis Prevent the Unemployed from Moving to Take Jobs?" American Economic Review, 102(3): 520-25.

DOI: 10.1257/aer.102.3.520

Abstract

The labor market in the Great Recession and its aftermath is characterized by great difficulty in escaping unemployment. I present two empirical analyses of a particular explanation for that difficulty, that the housing market crisis has prevented the unemployed from selling their homes and moving to take new jobs. First, I examine post-job-loss mobility rates by home ownership status using data from the Displaced Workers Survey. Second, I examine mobility rates for unemployed homeowners and renters from the month-to-month CPS match. Neither analysis provides any support for the idea that the housing market crisis has reduced mobility of the unemployed.

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Authors

Farber, Henry S. (Princeton U)

JEL Classifications

E24: Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital
E32: Business Fluctuations; Cycles
J64: Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search
R31: Housing Supply and Markets
J61: Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers


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