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Search, Nash bargaining and rule-of-thumb consumers

  • Boscá, J.E.
  • Doménech, R.
  • Ferri, J.

This paper analyses the effects of introducing two typical Keynesian features, namely rule-of-thumb (RoT) consumers and consumption habits, into a standard labour market search model. RoT consumers use the margin that hours and wage negotiation provides them to improve their lifetime utility, by narrowing the gap in utility with respect to Ricardian consumers. This margin for intertemporal optimisation has not been studied yet, because this class of restricted agents has been mainly used in models with no equilibrium unemployment. Our approach allows for a deeper study of the effects of shocks on vacancies, unemployment, hours, wages and how they interact. As habits increase, RoT consumers find it optimal, after a positive technology shock, to negotiate lower hours and higher wages, and this mechanism reduces the simulated correlation between the real wage (or productivity) and total hours to values closer to those obtained empirically. Thus, with the interaction of RoT consumers and consumption habits, the labour market search model improves significantly in reproducing some of the stylised facts characterising the US labour market.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal European Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 55 (2011)
Issue (Month): 7 ()
Pages: 927-942

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Handle: RePEc:eee:eecrev:v:55:y:2011:i:7:p:927-942
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