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Private Information, Wage Bargaining and Employment Fluctuations

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  • John Kennan

Abstract

Shimer (2005) pointed out that although we have a satisfactory theory of why some workers are unemployed at any given time, we don't know why the number of unemployed workers varies so much over time. The basic Mortensen--Pissarides model does not generate nearly enough volatility in unemployment for plausible parameter values. This paper extends the Mortensen--Pissarides model to allow for informational rents. Productivity is subject to publicly observed aggregate shocks, and to idiosyncratic shocks that are seen only by the employer. It is shown that there is a unique equilibrium, provided that the idiosyncratic shocks are not too large. The main result is that small fluctuations in productivity that are privately observed by employers can give rise to a kind of wage stickiness in equilibrium, and the informational rents associated with this stickiness are sufficient to generate relatively large unemployment fluctuations. Copyright , Wiley-Blackwell.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1111/j.1467-937X.2009.00580.x
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Oxford University Press in its journal The Review of Economic Studies.

Volume (Year): 77 (2010)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages: 633-664

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Handle: RePEc:oup:restud:v:77:y:2010:i:2:p:633-664

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  1. Hagedorn, Marcus & Manovskii, Iourii, 2008. "The cyclical behavior of equilibrium unemployment and vacancies revisited," Working Paper Series 0853, European Central Bank.
  2. Robert E. Hall, 2005. "Employment Fluctuations with Equilibrium Wage Stickiness," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 50-65, March.
  3. Dale T. Mortensen & Eva Nagypal, 2005. "More on Unemployment and Vacancy Fluctuations," NBER Working Papers 11692, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. John Kennan, 2001. "Uniqueness of Positive Fixed Points for Increasing Concave Functions on Rn: An Elementary Result," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 4(4), pages 893-899, October.
  5. Andreas Hornstein & Per Krusell & Giovanni L. Violante, 2005. "Unemployment and vacancy fluctuations in the matching model: inspecting the mechanism," Economic Quarterly, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, issue Sum, pages 19-50.
  6. Robert Shimer, 2005. "The Cyclical Behavior of Equilibrium Unemployment and Vacancies," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 25-49, March.
  7. Dale T. Mortensen & Christopher A. Pissarides, 1993. "Job Creation and Job Destruction in the Theory of Unemployment," CEP Discussion Papers dp0110, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  8. Bjoern Bruegemann & Giuseppe Moscarini, 2006. "Asymmetric Information and Employment Fluctuations," 2006 Meeting Papers 215, Society for Economic Dynamics.
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