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Search frictions and labor market participation


  • Pries, Michael
  • Rogerson, Richard


Cross-country differences in labor market participation are often larger than differences in unemployment rates. The same holds true across demographic groups within a given economy. We argue that the interaction between labor force participation decisions and labor market frictions can help us understand these patterns. This interaction highlights dynamic aspects of the participation decision, in contrast to standard textbook treatments that emphasize static costs and benefits of participation. We extend the standard labor market search problem to allow for a third state--non-participation--and assumes that stochastic participation costs precipitate flows into and out of non-participation. We fully characterize the worker's decision problem and use numerical simulations to demonstrate how participation patterns vary with individual characteristics and with labor market conditions.

Suggested Citation

  • Pries, Michael & Rogerson, Richard, 2009. "Search frictions and labor market participation," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 53(5), pages 568-587, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:eecrev:v:53:y:2009:i:5:p:568-587

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. David Andolfattio & Paul Gomme & Paul A. Storer, 1998. "US Labour Market Policy and the Canada-US Unemployment Rate Gap," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 24(s1), pages 210-232, February.
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    6. Jolivet, Gregory & Postel-Vinay, Fabien & Robin, Jean-Marc, 2006. "The empirical content of the job search model: Labor mobility and wage distributions in Europe and the US," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 50(4), pages 877-907, May.
    7. Fernando Alvarez & Marcelo Veracierto, 2000. "Labor-Market Policies in an Equilibrium Search Model," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1999, Volume 14, pages 265-316 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Pietro Garibaldi & Etienne Wasmer, 2005. "Equilibrium Search Unemployment, Endogenous Participation, And Labor Market Flows," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 3(4), pages 851-882, June.
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    10. Christopher A. Pissarides, 2000. "Equilibrium Unemployment Theory, 2nd Edition," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262161877, July.
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    12. Poterba, James M & Summers, Lawrence H, 1986. "Reporting Errors and Labor Market Dynamics," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(6), pages 1319-1338, November.
    13. Kenneth Burdett & Nicholas M. Kiefer & Dale T. Mortensen & George R. Neumann, 1984. "Earnings, Unemployment, and the Allocation of Time Over Time," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 51(4), pages 559-578.
    14. Andolfatto, David & Gomme, Paul, 1996. "Unemployment insurance and labor-market activity in Canada," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 47-82, June.
    15. Michael Pries & Richard Rogerson, 2005. "Hiring Policies, Labor Market Institutions, and Labor Market Flows," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(4), pages 811-839, August.
    16. Lucas, Robert Jr. & Prescott, Edward C., 1974. "Equilibrium search and unemployment," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 7(2), pages 188-209, February.
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