IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/aea/aecrev/v95y2005i1p25-49.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

The Cyclical Behavior of Equilibrium Unemployment and Vacancies

Author

Listed:
  • Robert Shimer

Abstract

This paper argues that the textbook search and matching model cannot generate the observed business-cycle-frequency fluctuations in unemployment and job vacancies in response to shocks of a plausible magnitude. In the United States, the standard deviation of the vacancy-unemployment ratio is almost 20 times as large as the standard deviation of average labor productivity, while the search model predicts that the two variables should have nearly the same volatility. A shock that changes average labor productivity primarily alters the present value of wages, generating only a small movement along a downward-sloping Beveridge curve (unemployment-vacancy locus). A shock to the separation rate generates a counterfactually positive correlation between unemployment and vacancies. In both cases, the model exhibits virtually no propagation.

Suggested Citation

  • Robert Shimer, 2005. "The Cyclical Behavior of Equilibrium Unemployment and Vacancies," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 25-49, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:95:y:2005:i:1:p:25-49
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/0002828053828572
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/0002828053828572
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/aer/data/mar05_data_shimer.zip
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to AEA members and institutional subscribers.
    ---><---

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. 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.
    2. Shigeru Fujita, 2003. "The Beveridge Curve, Job Creation, and the Propagation of Shocks," Computing in Economics and Finance 2003 273, Society for Computational Economics.
    3. Flinn, Christopher J & Heckman, James J, 1983. "Are Unemployment and Out of the Labor Force Behaviorally Distinct Labor Force States?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 1(1), pages 28-42, January.
    4. Abraham, Katharine G & Katz, Lawrence F, 1986. "Cyclical Unemployment: Sectoral Shifts or Aggregate Disturbances?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(3), pages 507-522, June.
    5. Lilien, David M, 1982. "Sectoral Shifts and Cyclical Unemployment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 90(4), pages 777-793, August.
    6. Gomes, Joao & Greenwood, Jeremy & Rebelo, Sergio, 2001. "Equilibrium unemployment," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 109-152, August.
    7. 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 933-959, November.
    8. 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.
    9. Abowd, John M & Zellner, Arnold, 1985. "Estimating Gross Labor-Force Flows," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 3(3), pages 254-283, June.
    10. Stephen R. G. Jones & W. Craig Riddell, 1999. "The Measurement of Unemployment: An Empirical Approach," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 67(1), pages 147-162, January.
    11. Andolfatto, David, 1996. "Business Cycles and Labor-Market Search," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(1), pages 112-132, March.
    12. Katharine G. Abraham, 1987. "Help-Wanted Advertising, Job Vacancies, and Unemployment," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 18(1), pages 207-248.
    13. Oliver Jean Blanchard & Peter Diamond, 1989. "The Beveridge Curve," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 20(1), pages 1-76.
    14. 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.
    15. Arthur J. Hosios, 1990. "On The Efficiency of Matching and Related Models of Search and Unemployment," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 57(2), pages 279-298.
    16. Katharine G. Abraham & Robert Shimer, 2001. "Changes in Unemployment Duration and Labor Force Attachment," NBER Working Papers 8513, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    17. Hoyt Bleakley & Ann E. Ferris & Jeffrey C. Fuhrer, 1999. "New data on worker flows during business cycles," New England Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, issue Jul, pages 49-76.
    18. Chinhui Juhn & Kevin M. Murphy & Robert H. Topel, 1991. "Why Has the Natural Rate of Unemployment Increased over Time?," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 22(2), pages 75-142.
    19. Robert E. Hall, 2005. "Employment Fluctuations with Equilibrium Wage Stickiness," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 50-65, March.
    20. Lucas, Robert E, Jr & Rapping, Leonard A, 1969. "Real Wages, Employment, and Inflation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 77(5), pages 721-754, Sept./Oct.
    21. Katharine G. Abraham & John C. Haltiwanger, 1995. "Real Wages and the Business Cycle," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 33(3), pages 1215-1264, September.
    22. 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.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Robert Shimer, 2003. "The Cyclical Behavior of Equilibrium Unemployment and Vacancies: Evidence and Theory," NBER Working Papers 9536, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Costain, James S. & Reiter, Michael, 2008. "Business cycles, unemployment insurance, and the calibration of matching models," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 32(4), pages 1120-1155, April.
    3. Miquel Faig, 2008. "Labor Market Cycles and Unemployment Insurance Eligibility," 2008 Meeting Papers 183, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    4. Yashiv, Eran, 2007. "Labor search and matching in macroeconomics," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 51(8), pages 1859-1895, November.
    5. Kenneth Beauchemin & Murat Tasci, 2005. "On the Cyclicality of Labor Market Mismatch and Aggregate Employment Flows," Discussion Papers 05-01, University at Albany, SUNY, Department of Economics.
    6. Thomas B. King, 2005. "Labor productivity and job-market flows: trends, cycles, and correlations," Supervisory Policy Analysis Working Papers 2005-04, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
    7. Shigeru Fujita, 2004. "Vacancy persistence," Working Papers 04-23, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
    8. Yashiv, Eran, 2006. "Evaluating the performance of the search and matching model," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 50(4), pages 909-936, May.
    9. Rogerson, Richard & Shimer, Robert, 2011. "Search in Macroeconomic Models of the Labor Market," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 7, pages Pages: 61, Elsevier.
    10. Shigeru Fujita, 2011. "Dynamics of worker flows and vacancies: evidence from the sign restriction approach," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 26(1), pages 89-121, January/F.
    11. Roger E. A. Farmer, 2005. "Shooting the Auctioneer," 2005 Meeting Papers 26, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    12. Christopher A. Pissarides & Barbara Petrongolo, 2001. "Looking into the Black Box: A Survey of the Matching Function," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 39(2), pages 390-431, June.
    13. Domenico Ferraro, 2018. "The Asymmetric Cyclical Behavior of the U.S. Labor Market," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 30, pages 145-162, October.
    14. Burcu Eyigungor, 2010. "Specific Capital and Vintage Effects on the Dynamics of Unemployment and Vacancies," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(3), pages 1214-1237, June.
    15. Zhang Min, 2008. "Cyclical Behavior of Unemployment and Job Vacancies: A Comparison between Canada and the United States," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 8(1), pages 1-37, October.
    16. Petrosky-Nadeau, Nicolas & Wasmer, Etienne, 2015. "Macroeconomic dynamics in a model of goods, labor, and credit market frictions," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(C), pages 97-113.
    17. Brown, Alessio & Merkl, Christian & Snower, Dennis, 2015. "An Incentive Theory Of Matching," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 19(3), pages 643-668, April.
    18. Krause, Michael U. & Lubik, Thomas A., 2007. "The (ir)relevance of real wage rigidity in the New Keynesian model with search frictions," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(3), pages 706-727, April.
    19. Fujita, Shigeru & Ramey, Garey, 2005. "The Dynamic Beveridge Curve," University of California at San Diego, Economics Working Paper Series qt4m04n09h, Department of Economics, UC San Diego.
    20. Beauchemin, Kenneth & Tasci, Murat, 2014. "Diagnosing Labor Market Search Models: A Multiple-Shock Approach," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 18(3), pages 548-572, April.

    More about this item

    Lists

    This item is featured on the following reading lists, Wikipedia, or ReplicationWiki pages:
    1. Economic Logic blog

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:95:y:2005:i:1:p:25-49. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Michael P. Albert). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/aeaaaea.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.