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Do Matching Frictions Explain Unemployment? Not in Bad Times

  • Pascal Michaillat

This paper proposes a search-and-matching model of unemployment in which jobs are rationed: the labor market does not clear in the absence of matching frictions. This job shortage arises in an economic equilibrium from the combination of some wage rigidity and diminishing marginal returns to labor. In recessions, job rationing is acute, driving the rise in unemployment, whereas matching frictions contribute little to unemployment. Intuitively in recessions, jobs are lacking, the labor market is slack, and recruiting is easy and inexpensive, so matching frictions do not matter much. In a calibrated model, cyclical fluctuations in the composition of unemployment are large.

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Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 102 (2012)
Issue (Month): 4 (June)
Pages: 1721-50

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:102:y:2012:i:4:p:1721-50
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  1. Hosios, Arthur J, 1990. "On the Efficiency of Matching and Related Models of Search and Unemployment," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 57(2), pages 279-98, April.
  2. 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.
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  10. Leena Rudanko, 2005. "Labor Market Dynamics under Long Term Wage Contracting," 2005 Meeting Papers 876, Society for Economic Dynamics.
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  15. Pascal Michaillat, 2012. "Fiscal Multipliers over the Business Cycle," CEP Discussion Papers dp1115, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
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  17. Christopher A. Pissarides, 2000. "Equilibrium Unemployment Theory, 2nd Edition," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262161877, June.
  18. Pierre Cahuc & Francois Marque & Etienne Wasmer, 2008. "A Theory Of Wages And Labor Demand With Intra-Firm Bargaining And Matching Frictions," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 49(3), pages 943-972, 08.
  19. Alexopoulos, Michelle, 2007. "A monetary business cycle model with unemployment," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 31(12), pages 3904-3940, December.
  20. Mikael Carlsson & Stefan Eriksson & Nils Gottfries, 2006. "Testing Theories of Job Creation: Does Supply Create Its Own Demand?," CESifo Working Paper Series 1866, CESifo Group Munich.
  21. Burdett, Kenneth & Mortensen, Dale T, 1998. "Wage Differentials, Employer Size, and Unemployment," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 39(2), pages 257-73, May.
  22. Barron, John M & Berger, Mark C & Black, Dan A, 1997. "Employer Search, Training, and Vacancy Duration," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 35(1), pages 167-92, January.
  23. Agell, J. & Lundborg, P., 1992. "Theories of Pay and Unemployment: Survey Evidence from Swedish Manufacturing Firms," Papers 1993-8, Uppsala - Working Paper Series.
  24. Yuriy Gorodnichenko & Enrique G. Mendoza & Linda L. Tesar, 2009. "The Finnish Great Depression: From Russia with Love," NBER Working Papers 14874, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  25. Campbell, Carl M, III & Kamlani, Kunal S, 1997. "The Reasons for Wage Rigidity: Evidence from a Survey of Firms," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(3), pages 759-89, August.
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  27. Solow, Robert M., 1979. "Another possible source of wage stickiness," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 79-82.
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