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Testing for unemployment hysteresis in nonlinear heterogeneous panels: International evidence

By Cheng-Feng Lee

Abstract

Nonlinear behavior of unemployment is well documented in the literature, and thus linear unit root tests may not be appropriate in this case. This paper tests for hysteresis of unemployment for 29 OECD countries through the use of a new nonlinear panel unit root test developed by Ucar and Omay (2009). The test examines the joint null hypothesis of linearity and a unit root against the alternative hypothesis of nonlinear stationarity. Large power gains are achieved by both combining cross-sectional information with nonlinearities in the data. In addition, after the unit root null being rejected, we use a sequential panel selection method suggested by Chortareas and Kapetanios (2009) to classify the whole panel into a group of stationary countries and a group of non-stationary countries. The empirical findings show that the nonlinear panel test gives strong evidence in favor of the natural rate hypothesis of unemployment for 23 of 29 OECD countries, in contrast to those obtained by Chang's (2002) linear panel test that 17 countries display evidence of stationary unemployment.Unemployment rate Hysteresis Nonlinear panel unit root test

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