Heterogeneous workers, optimal job seeking, and aggregate labor market dynamics
AbstractIn the United States, the aggregate vacancy-unemployment (V/U) ratio is strongly procyclical, and a large fraction of its adjustment associated with changes in productivity is sluggish. The latter is entirely unexplained by the benchmark homogeneous-agent model of equilibrium unemployment theory. I show that endogenous search and worker-side horizontal heterogeneity in production capacity can be important in accounting for this propagation puzzle. Driven by differences in unemployed and on-the-job seekers' search incentives, the probability that any given firm with a job opening matches with a worker endowed with a comparative advantage in that job exhibits a stage of procyclical slow-moving adjustment. Consequently, so do the expected gains from posting vacancies and, hence, the V/U ratio. The model has channels through which the majority of both the V/U ratio's sluggish-adjustment properties and its elasticity with respect to output per worker can be accounted for.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.) in its series International Finance Discussion Papers with number 1053.
Date of creation: 2012
Date of revision:
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2012-09-30 (All new papers)
- NEP-BEC-2012-09-30 (Business Economics)
- NEP-DGE-2012-09-30 (Dynamic General Equilibrium)
- NEP-LAB-2012-09-30 (Labour Economics)
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