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Worker flows, job flows and unemployment in a matching model

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  • Burgess, Simon
  • Turon, Hélène

Abstract

Standard matching models of unemployment generate far too little volatility in unemployment and vacancies relative to the variation in the shock variables. Shimer (2005) showed that in US data the vacancy-to-unemployment ratio is about 26 times more volatile than the standard model predicts. He identified the flexibility of wages as the key issue and triggered a heated debate on possible improvements of the core model to accommodate these empirical facts. In this paper, we first document Shimer's facts for the UK and find them to be qualitatively similar to US facts. We then develop and calibrate a model based on the Mortensen and Pissarides approach that increases the volatility of the v/u ratio 20-fold compared to the standard framework. The key features of our model relate to the job creation decision by firms and the search options of workers. We allow these to search whilst employed, and firms to re-advertise jobs that have been quit from. This leads us to use a different job creation process, whereby potential vacancies, or job 'ideas', arise at a finite rate per period over a range of idiosyncratic productivities. Calibrating the model to UK data, we show that it delivers volatility in unemployment and vacancies much closer to, though still not as large as, that observed for the UK, whilst retaining the standard wage determination process.

Suggested Citation

  • Burgess, Simon & Turon, Hélène, 2010. "Worker flows, job flows and unemployment in a matching model," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 54(3), pages 393-408, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:eecrev:v:54:y:2010:i:3:p:393-408
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    2. Hector Sala & José I. Silva & Manuel Toledo, 2012. "Flexibility at the Margin and Labor Market Volatility in OECD Countries," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 114(3), pages 991-1017, September.
    3. Baas, Timo & Belke, Ansgar, 2014. "Labor Market Reforms and Current Account Imbalances - Beggar-thy-Neighbor Policies in a Currency Union?," Ruhr Economic Papers 505, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.
    4. Simon Burgess & Helene Turon, 2005. "The Cyclical Behavior of Equilibrium Unemployment and Vacancies – A Comment," Bristol Economics Discussion Papers 05/573, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
    5. repec:eee:reecon:v:72:y:2018:i:2:p:277-296 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Pawel Krolikowski, 2017. "Job Ladders and Earnings of Displaced Workers," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 9(2), pages 1-31, April.
    7. Miyamoto Hiroaki, 2011. "Cyclical Behavior of a Matching Model with Capital Investment," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 11(1), pages 1-25, January.
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    9. Zanetti, Francesco, 2011. "Labor market institutions and aggregate fluctuations in a search and matching model," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 55(5), pages 644-658, June.
    10. repec:bla:indres:v:56:y:2017:i:4:p:688-722 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Ochsen, Carsten, 2008. "How the distribution of unemployment by duration affects the unemployment rate," Thuenen-Series of Applied Economic Theory 88, University of Rostock, Institute of Economics.
    12. Bank of England, 2008. "Labor Market Institutions and Aggregate Fluctuations in a Search and Matching Model," 2008 Meeting Papers 370, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    13. Schaefer, Daniel & Singleton, Carl, 2018. "Unemployment and econometric learning," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(2), pages 277-296.
    14. Miyamoto, Hiroaki, 2011. "Cyclical behavior of unemployment and job vacancies in Japan," Japan and the World Economy, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 214-225.
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    16. Giuseppe Moscarini & Fabien Postel-Vinay, 2016. "Wage Posting and Business Cycles: a Quantitative Exploration," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 19, pages 135-160, January.
    17. Timo Baas & Ansgar Belke, 2014. "Labor Market Reforms and Current Account Imbalances - Beggar-thy-Neighbor Policies in a Currency Union?," Ruhr Economic Papers 0505, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Unemployment and vacancies On-the-job search Worker flows Job flows Matching;

    JEL classification:

    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search

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