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

Cynthia J. Brown, José A. Pagán

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1571-1583
Number of pages13
JournalApplied Economics
Issue number12
StatePublished - 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics


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