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Changes in employment status across demographic groups during the 1990-1991 recession

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This study analyses the relative impact of the 1990-91 recession on the employment status of Mexican-American, other Hispanic, and non-Hispanic black and white workers in the US. Recession-induced job losses and changes in shares of parttime and fulltime employment significantly varied across demographic groups and gender. From 1989 to 1991 males experienced a larger decline than females in the relative shares of fulltime employment with Mexican-American and other Hispanic females actually increasing their shares. Utilizing 1990 and 1992 CPS data, we estimate bivariate probit models of employment and fulltime/parttime employment status for each group. These employment and work status probabilities are then decomposed to analyse the factors that led to the changes. Our study suggests that the 1990-91 recession-induced labour market changes had the most detrimental impact on black male and non-Hispanic white female workers. As such, public policies implemented to mitigate the impact of economic downturns should take into account the differential impact of economic recessions on demographic groups.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 1998-12-01

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