IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/aea/jecper/v26y2012i3p3-26.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

A Search and Matching Approach to Labor Markets: Did the Natural Rate of Unemployment Rise?

Author

Listed:
  • Mary C. Daly
  • Bart Hobijn
  • Aysegül Sahin
  • Robert G. Valletta

Abstract

The U.S. unemployment rate has remained stubbornly high since the 2007-2009 recession, leading some observers to conclude that structural rather than cyclical factors are to blame. Relying on a standard job search and matching framework and empirical evidence from a wide array of labor market indicators, we examine whether the natural rate of unemployment has increased since the recession began, and if so, whether the underlying causes are transitory or persistent. Our preferred estimate indicates an increase in the natural rate of unemployment of about one percentage point during the recession and its immediate aftermath, putting the current natural rate at around 6 percent. An assessment of the underlying factors responsible for this increase, including labor market mismatch, extended unemployment benefits, and uncertainty about overall economic conditions, implies that only a small fraction is likely to be persistent.

Suggested Citation

  • Mary C. Daly & Bart Hobijn & Aysegül Sahin & Robert G. Valletta, 2012. "A Search and Matching Approach to Labor Markets: Did the Natural Rate of Unemployment Rise?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 26(3), pages 3-26, Summer.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:jecper:v:26:y:2012:i:3:p:3-26
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/jep.26.3.3
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/jep.26.3.3
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Michael R. Darby & John C. Haltiwanger & Mark W. Plant, 1986. "The Ins and Outs of Unemployment: The Ins Win," UCLA Economics Working Papers 411, UCLA Department of Economics.
    2. Melissa Bjelland & Bruce Fallick & John Haltiwanger & Erika McEntarfer, 2011. "Employer-to-Employer Flows in the United States: Estimates Using Linked Employer-Employee Data," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 29(4), pages 493-505, October.
    3. Christopher A. Pissarides, 2000. "Equilibrium Unemployment Theory, 2nd Edition," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262161877, January.
    4. Joyce Kwok & Mary C. Daly & Bart Hobijn, 2010. "Labor force participation and the future path of unemployment," FRBSF Economic Letter, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue sep13.
    5. Schulhofer-Wohl, Sam, 2012. "Negative equity does not reduce homeowners’ mobility," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Feb, pages 1-17.
    6. Raj Chetty, 2008. "Moral Hazard versus Liquidity and Optimal Unemployment Insurance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 116(2), pages 173-234, April.
    7. Darby, Michael R & Haltiwanger, John C & Plant, Mark W, 1985. "Unemployment Rate Dynamics and Persistent Unemployment under Rational Expectations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(4), pages 614-637, September.
    8. Edmund S. Phelps, 1968. "Money-Wage Dynamics and Labor-Market Equilibrium," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 76, pages 678-678.
    9. Òscar Jordà & Moritz Schularick & Alan M. Taylor, 2011. "When credit bites back: leverage, business cycles, and crises," Working Paper Series 2011-27, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
    10. Steven J. Davis & R. Jason Faberman & John C. Haltiwanger, 2013. "The Establishment-Level Behavior of Vacancies and Hiring," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 128(2), pages 581-622.
    11. Sterk, Vincent, 2015. "Home equity, mobility, and macroeconomic fluctuations," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(C), pages 16-32.
    12. 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.
    13. Card, David & Levine, Phillip B., 2000. "Extended benefits and the duration of UI spells: evidence from the New Jersey extended benefit program," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 78(1-2), pages 107-138, October.
    14. Mary C. Daly & Bart Hobijn, 2010. "Okun’s law and the unemployment surprise of 2009," FRBSF Economic Letter, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue mar8.
    15. Raj Chetty, 2008. "Moral Hazard versus Liquidity and Optimal Unemployment Insurance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 116(2), pages 173-234, April.
    16. Daly, Mary C. & Hobijn, Bart & Valletta, Robert G., 2011. "The Recent Evolution of the Natural Rate of Unemployment," IZA Discussion Papers 5832, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    17. Jesse Rothstein, 2011. "Unemployment Insurance and Job Search in the Great Recession," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 42(2 (Fall)), pages 143-213.
    18. Daniel J. Wilson, 2010. "Is the recent productivity boom over?," FRBSF Economic Letter, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue sep20.
    19. Samuel Bentolila & Giuseppe Bertola, 1990. "Firing Costs and Labour Demand: How Bad is Eurosclerosis?," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 57(3), pages 381-402.
    20. Barnichon, Regis, 2010. "Building a composite Help-Wanted Index," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 109(3), pages 175-178, December.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C78 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Bargaining Theory; Matching Theory
    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • J41 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Labor Contracts

    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:jecper:v:26:y:2012:i:3:p:3-26. 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: http://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.