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Search, mismatch and unemployment

  • Blázquez, Maite
  • Jansen, Marcel

This paper explores the efficiency of the equilibrium allocation in a matching model with heterogeneous workers and jobs. In the basic setup there are two types of workers with different skill levels. Both types can perform the simple tasks of unskilled jobs, while the complex tasks of skilled jobs require a high-ability worker. We demonstrate that the equilibrium outcome with random search and ex-post bargaining is never efficient. Under the Hosios condition, the average wage is correct, but bargaining compresses the wage distribution relative to workers' shadow values. This feature distorts the relative profits of jobs, making it too attractive for firms to create skilled jobs. Furthermore, due to the low-skill premium, the high-ability workers may accept too many jobs. Finally, in an extension, we show that the introduction of separate markets for the two types of jobs is not sufficient to guarantee efficiency.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal European Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 52 (2008)
Issue (Month): 3 (April)
Pages: 498-526

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Handle: RePEc:eee:eecrev:v:52:y:2008:i:3:p:498-526
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/eer

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  1. Moen, E.R., 1995. "Competitive Search Equilibrium," Memorandum 37/1995, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
  2. Robert Shimer & Lones Smith, 2000. "Assortative Matching and Search," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(2), pages 343-370, March.
  3. James Albrecht & Susan Vroman, 2000. "A Matching Model with Endogenous Skill Requirements," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 0774, Econometric Society.
  4. Ramon Marimon & Fabrizio Zilibotti, 1997. "Unemployment vs. mismatch of talents: Reconsidering unemployment benefits," Economics Working Papers 211, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  5. JuanJ. Dolado & Marcel Jansen & JuanF. Jimeno, 2009. "On-the-Job Search in a Matching Model with Heterogeneous Jobs and Workers," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 119(534), pages 200-228, 01.
  6. Maite Blázquez & Marcel Jansen, 2003. "Efficiency In A Matching Model With Heterogeneous Agents: Too Many Good Or Bad Jobs?," Economics Working Papers we035019, Universidad Carlos III, Departamento de Economía.
  7. Christopher A. Pissarides, 2000. "Equilibrium Unemployment Theory, 2nd Edition," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262161877, June.
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  10. 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.
  11. Acemoglu, D., 1996. "Changes in Unemployment and Wage Inequality: An Alternative Theory and Some Evidence," Working papers 96-15, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  12. 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.
  13. Moen, Espen R, 2002. "Do Good Workers Hurt Bad Workers - or is it the Other Way Around?," CEPR Discussion Papers 3471, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  14. Lucas, Robert Jr. & Prescott, Edward C., 1974. "Equilibrium search and unemployment," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 7(2), pages 188-209, February.
  15. Espen R. Moen, 2003. "Do good workers hurt bad workers-or is it the other way around?," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 44(2), pages 779-800, 05.
  16. Sattinger, Michael, 1995. "Search and the Efficient Assignment of Workers to Jobs," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 36(2), pages 283-302, May.
  17. Robert Shimer, 2001. "The Assignment of Workers to Jobs In an Economy with Coordination Frictions," NBER Working Papers 8501, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Coen N. Teulings & Pieter A. Gautier, 2004. "The Right Man for the Job," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 71(2), pages 553-580, 04.
  19. Inderst, Roman, 2005. "Competitive search markets with heterogeneous workers," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 49(6), pages 1525-1542, August.
  20. Kevin Lang & William T. Dickens, 1993. "Bilateral Search as an Explanation for Labor Market Segmentation and Other Anomalies," NBER Working Papers 4461, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  21. Acemoglu, Daron, 2001. "Good Jobs versus Bad Jobs," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 19(1), pages 1-21, January.
  22. Shi, Shouyong, 2001. "Frictional Assignment. I. Efficiency," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 98(2), pages 232-260, June.
  23. Danthine, Samuel, 2005. "Two-Sided Search, Heterogeneous Skills and Labor Market Performance," IZA Discussion Papers 1572, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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