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On-the-job Search and Business Cycle Dynamics

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  • Thomas A. Lubik
  • Michael U. Krause

Abstract

We quantitatively assess the role of on-the-job search for labor market dynamics in a fully specified, real DSGE model with endogenous job creation and destruction. The model features heterogeneity of the productivity of firms, across which workers search, as well as heterogeneity of jobs within firms. On-the-job search promises to resolve the difficulty of the standard search and matching model in explaining the joint behavior of vacancies, unemployment and labor productivity (see Hall, 2003 and Shimer, 2003). We show that including on-the-job search implies a low volatility of the ratio of vacancies to searchers (employed and unemployed), which reduces the volatility of real wages. At the same time, the vacancy-unemployment ratio is highly volatile, thus matching the data more closely than in the standard model. The reason is that on-the-job search by workers expands the pool of searchers that firms can recruit from, thus reducing cyclical changes in the bargaining power of incumbent workers and new hires. We extend the framework by including money and nominal rigidities. In monetary business cycle models with sticky prices, real labor costs enter the price setting of firms. Hence, the reduced cyclicality of real wages with on-the-job search as determined by bargaining between workers and firms has implications for the transmission of monetary shocks. The less cyclical real wages are, the lower we can expect inflation volatility to be.

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Paper provided by Society for Computational Economics in its series Computing in Economics and Finance 2004 with number 307.

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Date of creation: 11 Aug 2004
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Handle: RePEc:sce:scecf4:307

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Keywords: DSGE; labor market dynamics; heterogeneity; Beveridge curve; bargaining;

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  1. Contini, Bruno & Revelli, Riccardo, 1997. "Gross flows vs. net flows in the labor market: What is there to be learned?," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 4(3), pages 245-263, September.
  2. Barbara Petrongolo & Christopher A. Pissarides, 2000. "Looking Into the Black Box: A Survey of the Matching Function," CEP Discussion Papers dp0470, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  3. Mortensen, Dale T., 1994. "The cyclical behavior of job and worker flows," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 18(6), pages 1121-1142, November.
  4. Dale T. Mortensen & Christopher A. Pissarides, 1993. "Job Creation and Job Destruction in the Theory of Unemployment," CEP Discussion Papers dp0110, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  5. Mortensen, Dale T. & Pissarides, Christopher A., 1999. "Job reallocation, employment fluctuations and unemployment," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 18, pages 1171-1228 Elsevier.
  6. Arthur M. Okun, 1973. "Upward Mobility in a High-Pressure Economy," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 4(1), pages 207-262.
  7. Pissarides, Christopher A, 1994. "Search Unemployment with On-the-Job Search," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 61(3), pages 457-75, July.
  8. Caballero, Ricardo J & Hammour, Mohamad L, 1996. "On the Timing and Efficiency of Creative Destruction," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 111(3), pages 805-52, August.
  9. Cole, Harold L & Rogerson, Richard, 1999. "Can the Mortensen-Pissarides Matching Model Match the Business-Cycle Facts?," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 40(4), pages 933-59, November.
  10. Robert Shimer, 2004. "The Consequences of Rigid Wages in Search Models," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 2(2-3), pages 469-479, 04/05.
  11. Cooley, Thomas F. & Quadrini, Vincenzo, 1999. "A neoclassical model of the Phillips curve relation," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(2), pages 165-193, October.
  12. Andolfatto, David, 1996. "Business Cycles and Labor-Market Search," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(1), pages 112-32, March.
  13. Steven J. Davis & John C. Haltiwanger & Scott Schuh, 1998. "Job Creation and Destruction," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262540932, December.
  14. Merz, Monika, 1995. "Search in the labor market and the real business cycle," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 269-300, November.
  15. Sims, Christopher A, 2002. "Solving Linear Rational Expectations Models," Computational Economics, Society for Computational Economics, vol. 20(1-2), pages 1-20, October.
  16. Acemoglu, Daron, 2001. "Good Jobs versus Bad Jobs," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 19(1), pages 1-21, January.
  17. Wouter J. den Haan & Garey Ramey & Joel Watson, 1997. "Job Destruction and Propagation of Shocks," NBER Working Papers 6275, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Robert Shimer, 2005. "The Cyclical Behavior of Equilibrium Unemployment and Vacancies," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 25-49, March.
  19. George A. Akerlof & Andrew K. Rose & Janet L. Yellen, 1988. "Job Switching and Job Satisfaction in the U.S. Labor Market," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 19(2), pages 495-594.
  20. Burgess, Simon M, 1993. "A Model of Competition between Unemployed and Employed Job Searchers: An Application to the Unemployment Outflow Rate in Britain," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 103(420), pages 1190-204, September.
  21. Robert E. Hall, 2003. "Modern Theory of Unemployment Fluctuations: Empirics and Policy Applications," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(2), pages 145-150, May.
  22. Bruce Fallick & Charles A. Fleischman, 2004. "Employer-to-employer flows in the U.S. labor market: the complete picture of gross worker flows," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2004-34, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
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