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Equilibrium unemployment-inequality correlation

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  • Cysne, Rubens Penha
  • Turchick, David

Abstract

A vast empirical literature implies that increases in unemployment have an aggravating impact on income inequality, whence international and intertemporal inequality comparisons might be sometimes biased. We show how job-search models can be useful in better understanding this fact. In fact, in the classic Burdett and Mortensen (1998) model, as well as in one of its many possible extensions (Bontemps et al., 2000), search frictions are a force pushing the unemployment-inequality correlation in that direction: provided that the unemployment rate is no larger than 15%, a positive correlation between unemployment and inequality unequivocally emerges.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Macroeconomics.

Volume (Year): 34 (2012)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages: 454-469

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jmacro:v:34:y:2012:i:2:p:454-469

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622617

Related research

Keywords: Unemployment; Income inequality; Gini coefficient; Job search;

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References

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  1. Eliana Cardoso & Andre Urani & Andre Urani, 1995. "Inflation and Unemployment as Determinants of Inequality in Brazil: The 1980s," NBER Chapters, in: Reform, Recovery, and Growth: Latin America and the Middle East, pages 151-176 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Fabien Postel-Vinay & Jean-Marc Robin, 2002. "The Distribution of Earnings in an Equilibrium Search Model with State-Dependent Offers and Counteroffers," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 43(4), pages 989-1016, November.
  3. Gerard J. van den Berg & Geert Ridder, 1998. "An Empirical Equilibrium Search Model of the Labor Market," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 66(5), pages 1183-1222, September.
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  6. Rubens Penha Cysne, 2009. "On the Positive Correlation between Income Inequality and Unemployment," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 91(1), pages 218-226, February.
  7. Cahuc, Pierre & Postel-Vinay, Fabien & Robin, Jean-Marc, 2003. "Wage Bargaining with On-The-Job Search: Theory and Evidence," CEPR Discussion Papers 4154, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Burdett, Kenneth & Mortensen, Dale T, 1998. "Wage Differentials, Employer Size, and Unemployment," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 39(2), pages 257-73, May.
  9. Daron Acemoglu, 1998. "Changes in Unemployment and Wage Inequality: An Alternative Theory and Some Evidence," NBER Working Papers 6658, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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