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The Employed, the Unemployed, and the Unemployable: Directed Search with Worker Heterogeneity

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  • Suren Basov

    ()
    (School of Economics, La Trobe University)

  • John Ian King

    (The University of Melbourne)

  • Lawrence Uren

    (The University of Melbourne)

Abstract

We examine the implications of worker heterogeneity on the equilibrium matching process, using a directed search model. Worker abilities are selected from a general distribution, subject to some weak regularity requirements, and the firms direct their job offers to workers. We identify conditions under which some fraction of the workforce will be "unemployable": no firm will approach them even though they offer positive surplus. For large markets we derive a simple closed form expression for the equilibrium matching function. This function has constant returns to scale and two new terms, which are functions of the underlying distribution of worker productivities: the percentage of unemployable workers, and a measure of heterogeneity ().The equilibrium unemployment rate is increasing in and, under certain circumstances, is increasing in the productivity of highly skilled workers, despite endogenous entry. A key empirical prediction of the theory is that 1. We examine this prediction, using data from several countries.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by School of Economics, La Trobe University in its series Working Papers with number 2010.03.

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Length: 44 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:trb:wpaper:2010.03

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Keywords: Directed search; worker heterogeneity; unemployment.;

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References

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  1. Robert Shimer, 2001. "The Assignment of Workers to Jobs In an Economy with Coordination Frictions," NBER Working Papers 8501, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Jan Eeckhout & Philipp Kircher, 2010. "Sorting and decentralized price competition," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 29705, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  3. James Albrecht, Pieter Gautier, & Susan Vroman, 2003. "Equilibrium Directed Search with Multiple Application," Working Papers gueconwpa~03-03-02, Georgetown University, Department of Economics.
  4. Michael W. L. Elsby & Bart Hobijn & Ayşegül Şahin, 2013. "Unemployment Dynamics in the OECD," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 95(2), pages 530-548, May.
  5. Robert Shimer, 2012. "Reassessing the Ins and Outs of Unemployment," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 15(2), pages 127-148, April.
  6. Philipp Kircher, 2009. "Efficiency of Simultaneous Search," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 117(5), pages 861-913, October.
  7. Moen, Espen R, 1997. "Competitive Search Equilibrium," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(2), pages 385-411, April.
  8. Benoît Julien & John Kennes & Ian King, 2005. "Ex post bidding and efficient coordination unemployment," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 38(1), pages 174-193, February.
  9. Julien, B. & Kennes, J. & King, I., 1998. "Bidding for Labour," Discussion Papers dp98-03, Department of Economics, Simon Fraser University.
  10. 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.
  11. Philipp Kircher, 2009. "Efficiency of simultaneous search," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 29703, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  12. Shouyong Shi, 2002. "A Directed Search Model of Inequality with Heterogeneous Skills and Skill-Biased Technology," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 69(2), pages 467-491.
  13. Kenneth Burdett & Shouyong Shi & Randall Wright, 2001. "Pricing and Matching with Frictions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 109(5), pages 1060-1085, October.
  14. John Kennes & Benoit Julien & Ian King, 2002. "The Mortensen Rule and Efficient Coordination Unemployment," Macroeconomics 0206001, EconWPA.
  15. Manolis Galenianos & Philipp Kircher, 2005. "Directed Search with Multiple Job Applications," PIER Working Paper Archive 05-022, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
  16. Manolis Galenianos & Philipp Kircher, 2009. "Directed search with multiple job applications," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 29702, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  17. Gabriele Camera & Cemil Selcuk, 2009. "Price Dispersion with Directed Search," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 7(6), pages 1193-1224, December.
  18. Albrecht, James & Tan, Serene & Gautier, Pieter & Vroman, Susan, 2004. "Matching with multiple applications revisited," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 84(3), pages 311-314, September.
  19. Montgomery, James D, 1991. "Equilibrium Wage Dispersion and Interindustry Wage Differentials," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 106(1), pages 163-79, February.
  20. Benoit Julien & John Kennes & Ian King, 2006. "Residual Wage Disparity And Coordination Unemployment," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 47(3), pages 961-989, 08.
  21. Margaret Stevens, 2007. "New Microfoundations For The Aggregate Matching Function," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 48(3), pages 847-868, 08.
  22. Peters, Michael, 1984. "Bertrand Equilibrium with Capacity Constraints and Restricted Mobility," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(5), pages 1117-27, September.
  23. Mas-Colell, Andreu & Whinston, Michael D. & Green, Jerry R., 1995. "Microeconomic Theory," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195102680.
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