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Aggregate Demand, Idle Time, and Unemployment

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  • Pascal Michaillat

    (London School of Economics)

  • Emmanuel Saez

    (University of California, Berkeley)

Abstract

This paper develops a model of unemployment fluctuations. The model keeps the architecture of the Barro and Grossman (1971) general disequilibrium model but replaces the disequilibrium framework on the labor and product markets by a matching framework. On the product and labor markets, both price and tightness adjust to equalize supply and demand. There is one more variable than equilibrium condition on each market, so we consider various price mechanisms to close the model, from completely flexible to completely rigid. With some price rigidity, aggregate demand influences unemployment through a simple mechanism: higher aggregate demand raises the probability that firms find customers, which reduces idle time for firms’ employees and thus increases labor demand, which in turn reduces unemployment. We use the comparative-statistics predictions of the model together with empirical measures of quantities and tightnesses to re-examine the origins of labor market fluctuations. We conclude that (1) price and real wage are not fully flexible because product and labor market tightness fluctuate significantly; (2) fluctuations are mostly caused by labor demand and not labor supply shocks because employment is positively correlated with labor market tightness; and (3) labor demand shocks mostly reflect aggregate demand and not technology shocks because output is positively correlated with product market tightness.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research in its series Upjohn Working Papers and Journal Articles with number 14-214.

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Date of creation: Jul 2014
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Handle: RePEc:upj:weupjo:14-214

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Keywords: aggregate demand; unemployment; matching frictions; business cycles;

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References

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  1. Valerie A. Ramey, 2011. "Can Government Purchases Stimulate the Economy?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 49(3), pages 673-85, September.
  2. Greg Kaplan & Guido Menzio, 2013. "Shopping Externalities and Self-Fulfilling Unemployment Fluctuations," Working Papers 1461, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Center for Economic Policy Studies..
  3. Moen, Espen R, 1997. "Competitive Search Equilibrium," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(2), pages 385-411, April.
  4. Pascal Michaillat, 2012. "Do Matching Frictions Explain Unemployment? Not in Bad Times," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(4), pages 1721-50, June.
  5. Camille Landais & Pascal Michaillat & Emmanuel Saez, 2010. "Optimal Unemployment Insurance over the Business Cycle," NBER Working Papers 16526, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Mortensen, Dale T, 1982. "Property Rights and Efficiency in Mating, Racing, and Related Games," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(5), pages 968-79, December.
  7. Robert E. Hall, 2008. "General Equilibrium with Customer Relationships: A Dynamic Analysis of Rent-Seeking," 2008 Meeting Papers 312, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  8. Roger E. A. Farmer, 2007. "Aggregate Demand and Supply," NBER Working Papers 13406, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Gauti B. Eggertsson & Paul Krugman, 2012. "Debt, Deleveraging, and the Liquidity Trap: A Fisher-Minsky-Koo Approach," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 127(3), pages 1469-1513.
  10. Ven Der Linden B. & Lehmann E., 2006. "Search Frictions on Product and Labor markets," Working Papers ERMES 0604, ERMES, University Paris 2.
  11. 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.
  12. Diamond, Peter A, 1982. "Wage Determination and Efficiency in Search Equilibrium," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 49(2), pages 217-27, April.
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  1. Types of unemployment
    by Mainly Macro in Mainly Macro on 2014-08-22 12:00:00
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Cited by:
  1. Pascal Michaillat & Emmanuel Saez & Camille Landais, 2011. "Optimal Unemployment Insurance over the Business Cycle," 2011 Meeting Papers 124, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  2. Pascal Michaillat & Emmanuel Saez, 2014. "An Economical Business-Cycle Model," NBER Working Papers 19777, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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