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The (un)importance of unemployment fluctuations for welfare

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  • Philip Jung
  • Keith Kuester

Abstract

This paper develops a real business cycle model with labor market search and matching frictions, which endogenously links both the cyclical fluctuations and the mean level of unemployment to the aggregate business cycle risk. The key result of the paper is that business cycles are costly for all consumers, regardless of their wealth, yet that unemployment fluctuations themselves are not the source of these costs. Rather fluctuations over the cycle induce higher average unemployment rates as employment is non-linear in job-finding rates and past unemployment. The authors first show this result analytically in special cases. They then calibrate a general equilibrium model with risk-averse asset-holding and liquidity-constrained workers to US data. Also under these more general circumstances, business cycles mean higher unemployment for all workers. The ensuing costs of cycles rise further for liquidity-constrained agents when replacement rates are lower or when workers' skills depend on the length of (un)employment spells.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia in its series Working Papers with number 08-31.

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Date of creation: 2008
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedpwp:08-31

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Related research

Keywords: Unemployment ; Welfare ; Business cycles;

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References

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Enders, Zeno & Jung, Philip & Müller, Gernot J., 2013. "Has the Euro changed the business cycle?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 189-211.
  2. Per Krusell & Toshihiko Mukoyama & Aysegul Sahin, 2009. "Labor-Market Matching with Precautionary Savings and Aggregate Fluctuations," NBER Working Papers 15282, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Moreno-Galbis, Eva, 2012. "The impact of TFP growth on the unemployment rate: Does on-the-job training matter?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 56(8), pages 1692-1713.
  4. Miguel Casares & Antonio Moreno & Jesús Vázquez, 2009. "Wage Stickiness and Unemployment Fluctuations: An Alternative Approach," Documentos de Trabajo - Lan Gaiak Departamento de Economía - Universidad Pública de Navarra 0902, Departamento de Economía - Universidad Pública de Navarra.
  5. Sophie Osotimehin & François Langot & Jean-Olivier Hairault, 2009. "Unemployment dynamics and the cost of business cycles," 2009 Meeting Papers 492, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  6. Jean-Olivier Hairault & François Langot & Sophie Osotimehin, 2010. "Matching frictions, unemployment dynamics and the cost of business cycles," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) hal-00516832, HAL.

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