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Is There Compelling Evidence against Increasing Returns to Matching in the Labour Market?

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  • Simon Baker
  • Seamus Hogan
  • Christopher Ragan

Abstract

Matching models of the labour market have been of particular interest in macroeconomics where the notion of 'thick-market' externalities can lead to multiple equilibria. This has led to some recent interest in constructing empirical estimates of labor-market matching functions. This paper argues that existing estimates do not provide compelling evidence against the hypothesis of increasing returns in matching. The assumption made in several studies, that the relevant pool of job searchers is proportional to the stock of unemployment, is a potentially important source of downward bias in returns-to-scale estimates. We show the source of this bias theoretically and illustrate its magnitude by estimating Canadian aggregate and regional labour-market matching functions over the period 1978-88. This evidence suggests significant increasing returns to labor-market matching.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Canadian Economics Association in its journal Canadian Journal of Economics.

Volume (Year): 29 (1996)
Issue (Month): 4 (November)
Pages: 976-93

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Handle: RePEc:cje:issued:v:29:y:1996:i:4:p:976-93

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Postal: Canadian Economics Association Prof. Steven Ambler, Secretary-Treasurer c/o Olivier Lebert, CEA/CJE/CPP Office C.P. 35006, 1221 Fleury Est Montréal, Québec, Canada H2C 3K4
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Cited by:
  1. Lei Lei Song & Elizabeth Webster, 2003. "How Segmented are Skilled and Unskilled Labour Markets: the Case of Beveridge Curves," Australian Economic Papers, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 42(3), pages 332-345, 09.
  2. Profit, Stefan & Sperlich, Stefan, 1998. "Non-uniformity of job-matching in a transition economy: A nonparametric analysis for the Czech Republic," SFB 373 Discussion Papers 1998,15, Humboldt University of Berlin, Interdisciplinary Research Project 373: Quantification and Simulation of Economic Processes.
  3. Wall, Howard & Zoega, Gylfi, 1997. "The British Beveridge Curve: A Tale of Ten Regions," CEPR Discussion Papers 1771, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Profit, Stefan, 1997. "Twin peaks in regional unemployment and returns to scale in job-matching in the Czech Republic," SFB 373 Discussion Papers 1997,63, Humboldt University of Berlin, Interdisciplinary Research Project 373: Quantification and Simulation of Economic Processes.
  5. den Hartigh, E. & Langerak, F. & Commandeur, H.R., 2000. "A Managerial Perspective on the Logic of Increasing Returns," ERIM Report Series Research in Management ERS-2000-48-MKT, Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM), ERIM is the joint research institute of the Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University and the Erasmus School of Economics (ESE) at Erasmus University Rotterdam.
  6. Richard Dutu & Mark J. Holmes & Brian Silverstone, 2009. "Modelling a Regime-Shifting New Zealand Beveridge Curve," Working Papers in Economics 09/13, University of Waikato, Department of Economics.

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