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The replacement problem in frictional economies : a near equivalence result

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  • Andreas Hornstein
  • Per Krusell
  • Giovanni L. Violante

Abstract

We examine how technological change affects wage inequality and unemployment in a calibrated 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 U.S. 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.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond in its series Working Paper with number 05-01.

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Date of creation: 2005
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedrwp:05-01

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Keywords: Contracts ; Technology;

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References

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  1. Cohen, D. & Saint-Paul, G., 1994. "Uneven Technical Progress and Job Destructions," DELTA Working Papers 94-10, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
  2. Caballero, R.J. & Hammour, M.L., 1997. "Jobless Growth: Appropriability, Factor-Substitution, and Unemployment," Working papers 97-18, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
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  6. 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.
  7. repec:fth:starer:9816 is not listed on IDEAS
  8. 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.
  9. Lopez-Salido, Jose David & Michelacci, Claudio, 2004. "Technology Shocks and Job Flows," CEPR Discussion Papers 4426, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. Andreas Hornstein & GianLuca Violante & Per Krusell, 2006. "Frictional Wage Inequality: A Puzzle?," 2006 Meeting Papers 7, Society for Economic Dynamics.
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  18. Barbara Petrongolo & Christopher Pissarides, 2000. "Looking into the black box: a survey of the matching function," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 2122, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. 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).
  2. Jean-Baptiste Michau, 2007. "Creative Destruction with On-the-Job Search," CEP Discussion Papers dp0835, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  3. 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.
  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. 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.
  6. James Costain & Michael Reiter, 2005. "Business Cycles, Unemployment Insurance and the Calibration of Matching Models," Working Papers 215, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
  7. 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.

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