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Macroeconomic policy lessons of labor market frictions

  • Yashiv, Eran

The paper explores the consequences of macroeconomic policy for labor market outcomes in the presence of frictions. It shows how policy may be useful in overriding frictions, as well as how it might generate adverse outcomes. The analysis looks at the main tools of macroeconomic policy and pertains to both the non-stochastic steady state and to business cycle fluctuations. A partial-equilibrium, empirically-grounded model is used to simulate policy effects. It relies on a reduced-form VAR of the actual data to specify the stochastic behavior of exogenous variables, precluding the possibility that labor market results will be affected by misspecifications in other parts of a more general macroeconomic model. The key results are that policy has effects on the stochastic behavior of key variables - measures that reduce unemployment also reduce its persistence and increase the volatility of vacancies. Hiring subsidies and unemployment benefits have substantial effects on labor market outcomes, while employment subsidies or wage tax reductions are not very effective policy instruments.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal European Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 48 (2004)
Issue (Month): 2 (April)
Pages: 259-284

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Handle: RePEc:eee:eecrev:v:48:y:2004:i:2:p:259-284
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/eer

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  1. Yashiv, E., 1999. "Hiring as Investment Behavior," Papers 35-99, Tel Aviv.
  2. Christopher Pissarides, 1997. "The impact of employment tax cuts on unemployment and wages : the role of unemployment benefits and tax structure," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 2332, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  3. Yashiv, E., 1999. "The Determinants of Equilibrium Unemployment," Papers 36-99, Tel Aviv.
  4. Dale T. Mortensen, 1979. "The Matching Process as a Non-Cooperative/Bargaining Game," Discussion Papers 384, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  5. Blanchard, Olivier Jean & Kahn, Charles M, 1980. "The Solution of Linear Difference Models under Rational Expectations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(5), pages 1305-1311, July.
  6. Pissarides, Christopher A, 1985. "Short-run Equilibrium Dynamics of Unemployment Vacancies, and Real Wages," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(4), pages 676-690, September.
  7. Paul R. Krugman, 1994. "Past and prospective causes of high unemployment," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, issue Q IV, pages 23-43.
  8. Donald A. Walker (ed.), 2000. "Equilibrium," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, volume 0, number 1585.
  9. Dale T. Mortensen & Christopher A. Pissarides, 1999. "Job Reallocation, Employment Fluctuations and Unemployment," CEP Discussion Papers dp0421, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  10. Peter A. Diamond, 1982. "Wage Determination and Efficiency in Search Equilibrium," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 49(2), pages 217-227.
  11. Diamond, Peter A, 1982. "Aggregate Demand Management in Search Equilibrium," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 90(5), pages 881-894, October.
  12. Petrongolo, Barbara & Pissarides, Christopher, 2000. "Looking Into The Black Box: A Survey Of The Matching Function," CEPR Discussion Papers 2409, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  13. Robert E. Hall, 1998. "Labor-Market Frictions and Employment Fluctuations," NBER Working Papers 6501, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Mortensen, Dale T & Pissarides, Christopher A, 1999. "Unemployment Responses to 'Skill-Biased' Technology Shocks: The Role of Labour Market Policy," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(455), pages 242-65, April.
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