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The Replacement Problem In Frictional Economies: A Near-Equivalence Result

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  • Andreas Hornstein

    (Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.)

  • Per Krusell

    (Princeton University and Institute for International Economic Studies.)

  • Giovanni L. Violante

    (New York University)

Abstract

We examine how technological change affects wage inequality and unemployment in a cali-brated model of matching frictions in the labor market. We distinguish between two polar cases studied in the literature: a "creative destruction" economy, where new machines enter chiefly through new matches and an "upgrading" economy, where machines in existing matches are replaced by new machines. Our main results are: (i) these two economies produce very similar quantitative outcomes, and (ii) the total amount of wage inequality generated by frictions is very small. We explain these findings in light of the fact that, in the model calibrated to the US economy, both unemployment and vacancy durations are very short, i.e., the matching frictions are quantitatively minor. Hence, the equilibrium allocations of the model are remarkably close to those of a frictionless version of our economy where firms are indifferent between upgrading and creative destruction, and where every worker is paid the same market-clearing wage. These results are robust to the inclusion of machine-specific or match-specific heterogeneity into the benchmark model. (JEL: J41, J64, O33) Copyright (c) 2005 by the European Economic Association.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by MIT Press in its journal Journal of the European Economic Association.

Volume (Year): 3 (2005)
Issue (Month): 5 (09)
Pages: 1007-1057

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Handle: RePEc:tpr:jeurec:v:3:y:2005:i:5:p:1007-1057

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References

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  1. repec:fth:starer:9816 is not listed on IDEAS
  2. Per Krusell & Lee E. Ohanian & Jose-Victor Rios-Rull & Giovanni L. Violante, 1997. "Capital-skill complementarity and inequality: a macroeconomic analysis," Staff Report 239, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  3. Greenwood, J. & Hercowitz, Z. & Krusell, P., 1995. "Long-Run Implications of Investment-Specific Technological Change," UWO Department of Economics Working Papers 9510, University of Western Ontario, Department of Economics.
  4. Andreas Hornstein & Per Krusell, 1996. "Can Technology Improvements Cause Productivity Slowdowns?," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1996, Volume 11, pages 209-276 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Dale W. Jorgenson, 2001. "Information Technology and the U. S. Economy," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1911, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  6. Jovanovic, B., 1998. "Vintage Capital and Equality," Working Papers 98-16, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  7. Ridder, Geert & van den Berg, Gerard J, 2003. "Measuring Labour Market Frictions: A Cross-Country Comparison," CEPR Discussion Papers 3978, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Katharine G. Abraham & Robert Shimer, 2001. "Changes in Unemployment Duration and Labor Force Attachment," NBER Working Papers 8513, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  13. Andreas Hornstein & GianLuca Violante & Per Krusell, 2006. "Frictional Wage Inequality: A Puzzle?," 2006 Meeting Papers 7, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  14. Dale W. Jorgenson, 2001. "Information Technology and the U.S. Economy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(1), pages 1-32, March.
  15. Petrongolo, Barbara & Pissarides, Christopher, 2000. "Looking Into The Black Box: A Survey Of The Matching Function," CEPR Discussion Papers 2409, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  19. Robert E. Hall, 2003. "Wage Determination and Employment Fluctuations," NBER Working Papers 9967, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. Caballero, Ricardo J. & Hammour, Mohamad L., 1998. "Jobless growth: appropriability, factor substitution, and unemployment," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 51-94, June.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Andreas Hornstein & Per Krusell & Giovanni L. Violante, 2007. "Technology—Policy Interaction in Frictional Labour-Markets," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 74(4), pages 1089-1124.
  2. Costain, James S. & Reiter, Michael, 2008. "Business cycles, unemployment insurance, and the calibration of matching models," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 32(4), pages 1120-1155, April.
  3. Fabio Canova & David López-Salido & Claudio Michelacci, 2007. "The labor market effects of technology shocks," Banco de Espa�a Working Papers 0719, Banco de Espa�a.
  4. Fabio Canova & David Lopez-Salido & Claudio Michelacci, 2006. "Schumpeterian technology shocks," Economics Working Papers 1012, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Nov 2007.
  5. Fabio Canova & David Lopez-Salido & Claudio Michelacci, 2009. "The ins and outs of unemployment: An analysis conditional on technology shocks," Economics Working Papers 1213, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Jan 2012.
  6. Jean-Baptiste Michau, 2013. "Creative Destruction with On-the-Job Search," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 16(4), pages 691-707, October.
  7. Rubart, Jens, 2006. "Heterogeneous Labor, Labor Market Frictions and Employment Effects of Technological Change. Theory and Empirical Evidence for the U.S. and Europe," Darmstadt Discussion Papers in Economics 36783, Darmstadt Technical University, Department of Business Administration, Economics and Law, Institute of Economics (VWL).

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