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Worker Heterogeneity and Labor Market Volatility in Matching Models

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  • Michael Pries

    (University of Notre Dame)

Abstract

Shimer (2005) demonstrated that aggregate productivity shocks in a standard matching model cause fluctuations in key labor market statistics---such as the job-finding rate, the vacancy/unemployment ratio, and the unemployment rate---that are too small by an order of magnitude. This paper shows that when the standard model is extended to allow for worker heterogeneity, it exhibits considerably greater volatility. In the model, marginal workers, whose productivity only slightly exceeds the value of their alternative use of time, constitute a disproportionate share of unemployment on average, and that share rises when aggregate conditions deteriorate. These composition effects cause firms to open fewer vacancies during downturns. (Copyright: Elsevier)

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics in its journal Review of Economic Dynamics.

Volume (Year): 11 (2008)
Issue (Month): 3 (July)
Pages: 664-678

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Handle: RePEc:red:issued:06-175

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Related research

Keywords: Volatility; Amplification; Matching models; Worker heterogeneity;

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References

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  1. Daron Acemoglu, 1999. "Changes in Unemployment and Wage Inequality: An Alternative Theory and Some Evidence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 89(5), pages 1259-1278, December.
  2. James S. Costain & Michael Reiter, 2003. "Business Cycles, Unemployment Insurance, and the Calibration of Matching Models," CESifo Working Paper Series 1008, CESifo Group Munich.
  3. Marcus Hagedorn & Iourii Manovskii, 2007. "The Cyclical Behavior of Equilibrium Unemployment and Vacancies Revisited," IEW - Working Papers, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich 351, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  4. Louis S. Jacobson & Robert J. LaLonde & Daniel G. Sullivan, 1992. "Earnings losses of displaced workers," Working Paper Series, Macroeconomic Issues, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago 92-28, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  5. Dolado, Juan J. & Jansen, Marcel & Jimeno, Juan F., 2003. "On-the-Job Search in a Matching Model with Heterogenous Jobs and Workers," IZA Discussion Papers 886, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Hosios, Arthur J, 1990. "On the Efficiency of Matching and Related Models of Search and Unemployment," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 57(2), pages 279-98, April.
  7. Robert E. Hall, 2005. "The Amplification of Unemployment Fluctuations through Self-Selection," NBER Working Papers 11186, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Robert Shimer, 2001. "The Impact Of Young Workers On The Aggregate Labor Market," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 116(3), pages 969-1007, August.
  9. Mortensen, Dale T & Pissarides, Christopher A, 1994. "Job Creation and Job Destruction in the Theory of Unemployment," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 61(3), pages 397-415, July.
  10. Nickell, Stephen & Bell, Brian, 1995. "The Collapse in Demand for the Unskilled and Unemployment across the OECD," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, Oxford University Press, vol. 11(1), pages 40-62, Spring.
  11. Robert E. Hall, 2005. "Employment Fluctuations with Equilibrium Wage Stickiness," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 50-65, March.
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