AAEA Invited Presentation 2023

Labor Force Participation Rate Comovements in West Virginia Counties

Image credit: AAEA


Comovements in labor force participation rates (LFPRs) across U.S. counties have the potential to amplify labor market shocks on a wider scale. This study examines the dynamic effects of state, Metro/Non-Metro, and county labor market shocks on labor force participation rates in West Virginia. In the first stage, using a dynamic factor model, we find that non-metropolitan and county-specific components are dominant contributors to the observed variations in the change in West Virginia LFPRs. In the second stage, using a fixed effects panel model, we find county demographics, education levels, income, access to interstate highways, and industry composition are useful covariates for explaining the variance contributions of the state, metro/non-metro and county factors. Our results suggest the need for disparate labor market policies for metropolitan and non-metropolitan counties. Additionally, state-wide policies focusing on increasing income, supporting key industries and infrastructure, and encouraging college completion could increase employment and labor participation growth in West Virginia.

Jul 22, 2023 8:00 AM — Jul 26, 2023 3:00 AM
Marriott Marquis
901 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington D.C., D.C 20001
Josh Beverly
Josh Beverly
Data Scientist and Adjunct Professor of Economics

My research interests include labor economics, rural and regional economics, time series analysis and applied econometrics.