Asymmetry and Lilien’s Sectoral Shifts Hypothesis: A Quantile Regression Approach

  • Theodore Panagiotidis University of Macedonia and Rimini Centre for Economic Analysis
  • Gianluigi Pelloni The Johns Hopkins University, SAIS-Bologna and Rimini Centre for Economic Analysis, Italy


This study revisits Lilien’s sectoral shifts hypothesis for the US. We employ quantile regression estimation in order to investigate the asymmetric nature of the relationship between sectoral employment and unemployment. Significant asymmetries emerge. Lilien’s dispersion index is significant only for relatively high levels of unemployment and becomes insignificant for lower levels suggesting that reallocation affects unemployment only when the latter is relative high. More job reallocation is associated with higher unemployment.