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Efficiency and Labor Market Dynamics in a Model of Labor Selection

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  • Christian Merkl

    (Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nurember)

  • Sanjay K. Chugh

    (University of Maryland)

Abstract

We characterize efficient allocations and business cycle fluctuations in a labor-selection model. Due to forward-looking hiring costs and labor supply decisions, efficiency entails both static and intertemporal dimensions. We develop welfare-relevant measures of marginal rates of transformation and efficiency along each margin and show how they nest their counterparts in the frictionless RBC model. In a calibrated version of the model, efficient fluctuations feature highly volatile unemployment and job-finding rates, in line with empirical evidence. We show analytically in a simplified version of the model that volatility arises from selection effects, not associated general equilibrium effects. We also develop sufficient conditions on wages that support efficient allocations in a decentralized economy. These conditions are independent of the wage-determination process, unlike the well-known Hosios condition for matching models, which assumes Nash-bargained wages. Also unlike the Hosios condition, there is no simple restriction on Nash bargaining that guarantees that Nash wages can support efficient allocations. Cyclical fluctuations in the Nash-bargaining economy display even larger amplification of productivity shocks into labor market outcomes than in the efficient economy, without extreme assumptions about bargaining shares, inflexibility of wages, or the size of surpluses that govern labor demand. The results establish normative and positive foundations for DSGE labor selection models.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Society for Economic Dynamics in its series 2011 Meeting Papers with number 824.

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Date of creation: 2011
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Handle: RePEc:red:sed011:824

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  1. Mas-Colell, Andreu & Whinston, Michael D. & Green, Jerry R., 1995. "Microeconomic Theory," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195102680, September.
  2. Garey Ramey & Wouter J. den Haan & Joel Watson, 2000. "Job Destruction and Propagation of Shocks," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(3), pages 482-498, June.
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  4. Brown, Alessio J. G. & Merkl, Christian & Snower, Dennis J., 2010. "An Incentive Theory of Matching," Open Access Publications from Kiel Institute for the World Economy 37391, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
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  7. Rogerson, Richard, 1988. "Indivisible labor, lotteries and equilibrium," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 3-16, January.
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  12. Robert Shimer, 2005. "The Cyclical Behavior of Equilibrium Unemployment and Vacancies," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 25-49, March.
  13. Faia, Ester & Lechthaler, Wolfgang & Merkl, Christian, 2009. "Labor Turnover Costs, Workers' Heterogeneity, and Optimal Monetary Policy," IZA Discussion Papers 4322, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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  17. Haefke, Christian & Reiter, Michael, 2012. "What Do Participation Fluctuations Tell Us About Labor Supply Elasticities?," Annual Conference 2012 (Goettingen): New Approaches and Challenges for the Labor Market of the 21st Century 62055, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
  18. Richard Rogerson & Robert Shimer, 2010. "Search in Macroeconomic Models of the Labor Market," NBER Working Papers 15901, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Manuel Toledo & Jose I. Silva, 2005. "Labor Turnover Costs and the Cyclical Behavior of Vacancies and Unemployment," 2005 Meeting Papers 775, Society for Economic Dynamics.
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  22. Monique Ebell, 2008. "Resurrecting the Participation Margin," CEP Discussion Papers dp0873, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
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