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Clashing Theories of Unemployment

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  • Robert E. Hall

Abstract

General-equilibrium models for studying monetary influences in general and the zero lower bound on the nominal interest rate in particular contain implicit theories of unemployment. In some cases, the theory is explicit. When the nominal rate is above the level that clears the current market for output, the excess supply shows up as diminished output, lower employment, and higher unemployment. Quite separately, the Diamond-Mortensen-Pissarides model is a widely accepted and well-developed account of turnover, wage determination, and unemployment. The DMP model is a clashing theory of unemployment, in the sense that its determinants of unemployment do not include any variables that signal an excess supply of current output. In consequence, a general-equilibrium monetary model with a DMP labor market generally has no equilibrium. After demonstrating the clash in a minimal but adequate setting, I consider modifications of the DMP model that permit the complete model to have an equilibrium. No fully satisfactory modification has yet appeared.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 17179.

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Date of creation: Jun 2011
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:17179

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  1. Silva, José Ignacio & Toledo, Manuel, 2009. "Labor Turnover Costs And The Cyclical Behavior Of Vacancies And Unemployment," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 13(S1), pages 76-96, May.
  2. Robert E. Hall, 2009. "Reconciling Cyclical Movements in the Marginal Value of Time and the Marginal Product of Labor," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 117(2), pages 281-323, 04.
  3. Veronica Guerrieri & Guido Lorenzoni, 2011. "Credit Crises, Precautionary Savings, and the Liquidity Trap," NBER Working Papers 17583, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Sergio Rebelo, 2010. "When is the government spending multiplier large?," CQER Working Paper 2010-01, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  5. Willem H. Buiter, 2009. "Negative Nominal Interest Rates: Three ways to overcome the zero lower bound," NBER Working Papers 15118, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Lawrence J. Christiano & Mathias Trabandt & Karl Walentin, 2010. "Involuntary unemployment and the business cycle," CQER Working Paper 2010-03, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  7. Marcus Hagedorn & Iourii Manovskii, 2008. "The Cyclical Behavior of Equilibrium Unemployment and Vacancies Revisited," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(4), pages 1692-1706, September.
  8. Gauti B. Eggertsson & Michael Woodford, 2003. "The Zero Bound on Interest Rates and Optimal Monetary Policy," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 34(1), pages 139-235.
  9. Mark Gertler & Luca Sala & Antonella Trigari, 2008. "An Estimated Monetary DSGE Model with Unemployment and Staggered Nominal Wage Bargaining," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 40(8), pages 1713-1764, December.
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As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. Clashing Theories of Unemployment
    by maximorossi in NEP-LTV blog on 2011-07-28 21:01:27
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Cited by:
  1. Julien Albertini & Arthur Poirier, 2014. "Unemployment benefits extensions at the zero lower bound on nominal interest rate," SFB 649 Discussion Papers SFB649DP2014-019, Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany.

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