IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/eecrev/v84y2016icp123-139.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Search costs and efficiency: Do unemployed workers search enough?

Author

Listed:
  • Gautier, Pieter A.
  • Moraga-González, José L.
  • Wolthoff, Ronald P.

Abstract

Many labor market policies affect the marginal benefits and costs of job search. The impact and desirability of such policies depend on the distribution of search costs. In this paper, we provide an equilibrium framework for identifying the distribution of search costs and we apply it to the Dutch labor market. In our model, the wage distribution, job search intensities, and firm entry are simultaneously determined in market equilibrium. Given the distribution of search intensities (which we directly observe), we calibrate the search cost distribution and the flow value of non-market time; these values are then used to derive the socially optimal firm entry rates and distribution of job search intensities. From a social point of view, some unemployed workers search too little due to a hold-up problem, while other unemployed workers search too much due to coordination frictions and rent-seeking behavior. Our results indicate that jointly increasing unemployment benefits and the sanctions for unemployed workers who do not search at all can be welfare-improving.

Suggested Citation

  • Gautier, Pieter A. & Moraga-González, José L. & Wolthoff, Ronald P., 2016. "Search costs and efficiency: Do unemployed workers search enough?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 84(C), pages 123-139.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:eecrev:v:84:y:2016:i:c:p:123-139
    DOI: 10.1016/j.euroecorev.2015.04.001
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0014292115000501
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    File URL: https://libkey.io/10.1016/j.euroecorev.2015.04.001?utm_source=ideas
    LibKey link: if access is restricted and if your library uses this service, LibKey will redirect you to where you can use your library subscription to access this item
    ---><---

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Christopher A. Pissarides, 2000. "Equilibrium Unemployment Theory, 2nd Edition," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262161877, December.
    2. Gerard J. van den Berg & Bas van der Klaauw, 2006. "Counseling And Monitoring Of Unemployed Workers: Theory And Evidence From A Controlled Social Experiment," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 47(3), pages 895-936, August.
    3. Guido Menzio & Shouyong Shi, 2011. "Efficient Search on the Job and the Business Cycle," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 119(3), pages 468-510.
    4. Fabien Postel-Vinay & Jean-Marc Robin, 2002. "Equilibrium Wage Dispersion with Worker and Employer Heterogeneity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(6), pages 2295-2350, November.
    5. Bontemps, Christian & Robin, Jean-Marc & van den Berg, Gerard J, 2000. "Equilibrium Search with Continuous Productivity Dispersion: Theory and Nonparametric Estimation," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 41(2), pages 305-358, May.
    6. Albrecht, James W & Axell, Bo, 1984. "An Equilibrium Model of Search Unemployment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 92(5), pages 824-840, October.
    7. Mortensen, Dale & Pissarides, Christopher, 2011. "Job Creation and Job Destruction in the Theory of Unemployment," Economic Policy, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration, vol. 1, pages 1-19.
    8. Lester, Benjamin & Visschers, Ludo & Wolthoff, Ronald, 2015. "Meeting technologies and optimal trading mechanisms in competitive search markets," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 155(C), pages 1-15.
    9. Galenianos, Manolis & Kircher, Philipp, 2009. "Directed search with multiple job applications," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 144(2), pages 445-471, March.
    10. Jaap H. Abbring & Gerard J. Berg & Jan C. Ours, 2005. "The Effect of Unemployment Insurance Sanctions on the Transition Rate from Unemployment to Employment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 115(505), pages 602-630, July.
    11. van Ours, Jan & Ridder, Geert, 1992. "Vacancies and the Recruitment of New Employees," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 10(2), pages 138-155, April.
    12. James Albrecht & Pieter A. Gautier & Susan Vroman, 2006. "Equilibrium Directed Search with Multiple Applications," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 73(4), pages 869-891.
    13. Christopher A. Pissarides & Barbara Petrongolo, 2001. "Looking into the Black Box: A Survey of the Matching Function," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 39(2), pages 390-431, June.
    14. Hans G. Bloemen, 2005. "Job Search, Search Intensity, and Labor Market Transitions: An Empirical Analysis," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 40(1).
    15. Albrecht, James & Tan, Serene & Gautier, Pieter & Vroman, Susan, 2004. "Matching with multiple applications revisited," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 84(3), pages 311-314, September.
    16. repec:hal:spmain:info:hdl:2441/c8dmi8nm4pdjkuc9g8grh35j2 is not listed on IDEAS
    17. Robert E. Hall & Paul R. Milgrom, 2008. "The Limited Influence of Unemployment on the Wage Bargain," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(4), pages 1653-1674, September.
    18. Andreas Hornstein & Per Krusell & Giovanni L. Violante, 2011. "Frictional Wage Dispersion in Search Models: A Quantitative Assessment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(7), pages 2873-2898, December.
    19. Pissarides, Christopher A, 1984. "Search Intensity, Job Advertising, and Efficiency," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 2(1), pages 128-143, January.
    20. Philipp Kircher, 2009. "Efficiency of Simultaneous Search," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 117(5), pages 861-913, October.
    21. Ronald Wolthoff, 2018. "Applications and Interviews: Firms’ Recruiting Decisions in a Frictional Labour Market," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 85(2), pages 1314-1351.
    22. Gautier, Pieter A. & Wolthoff, Ronald P., 2009. "Simultaneous search with heterogeneous firms and ex post competition," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 311-319, June.
    23. Fabien Postel-Vinay & Jean-Marc Robin, 2002. "Equilibrium wage dispersion with worker and employer heterogeneity," Post-Print hal-03587660, HAL.
    24. Fabien Postel-Vinay & Jean-Marc Robin, 2002. "Equilibrium Wage Dispersion with Worker and Employer Heterogeneity," Post-Print hal-03458567, HAL.
    25. Moen, Espen R, 1997. "Competitive Search Equilibrium," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(2), pages 385-411, April.
    26. Morgan, Peter & Manning, Richard, 1985. "Optimal Search," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 53(4), pages 923-944, July.
    27. John W. Graham & Andrea H. Beller, 1989. "The Effect of Child Support Payments on the Labor Supply of Female Family Heads: An Econometric Analysis," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 24(4), pages 664-688.
    28. Fabien Postel-Vinay & Jean-Marc Robin, 2004. "To Match or Not to Match? Optimal Wage Policy With Endogenous Worker Search Intensity," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 7(2), pages 297-330, April.
    29. Gautier, Pieter A & Moraga-González, José-Luis & Wolthoff, Ronald, 2007. "Structural Estimation of Search Intensity: Do Non-Employed Workers Search Enough?," CEPR Discussion Papers 6440, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    30. Meyer, Bruce D, 1996. "What Have We Learned from the Illinois Reemployment Bonus Experiment?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 14(1), pages 26-51, January.
    31. Han Hong & Matthew Shum, 2006. "Using price distributions to estimate search costs," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 37(2), pages 257-275, June.
    32. Robert Shimer, 2005. "The Cyclical Behavior of Equilibrium Unemployment and Vacancies," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 25-49, March.
    33. Christian Bontemps & Jean-Marc Robin & Gérard van den Berg, 2000. "Equilibrium search with continuous productivity dispersion: theory and nonparametric estimation," Post-Print hal-03416494, HAL.
    34. Burdett, Kenneth & Judd, Kenneth L, 1983. "Equilibrium Price Dispersion," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(4), pages 955-969, July.
    35. Fabien Postel-Vinay & Jean-Marc Robin, 2004. "To match or not to match? Optimal wage policy with endogenous worker search intensity," Post-Print hal-03587620, HAL.
    36. repec:hal:spmain:info:hdl:2441/dc0ckec3fcb29ms985085gkbp is not listed on IDEAS
    37. Burdett, Kenneth & Mortensen, Dale T, 1998. "Wage Differentials, Employer Size, and Unemployment," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 39(2), pages 257-273, May.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Cai, Xiaoming & Gautier, Pieter A. & Wolthoff, Ronald P., 2017. "Search frictions, competing mechanisms and optimal market segmentation," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 169(C), pages 453-473.
    2. Atayev, Atabek, 2022. "Uncertain product availability in search markets," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 204(C).
    3. Ronald Wolthoff, 2018. "Applications and Interviews: Firms’ Recruiting Decisions in a Frictional Labour Market," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 85(2), pages 1314-1351.
    4. Atabek Atayev, 2021. "Uncertain Product Availability in Search Markets," Papers 2109.15211, arXiv.org.
    5. Donna, Javier D. & Schenone, Pablo & Veramendi, Gregory F., 2020. "Networks, frictions, and price dispersion," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 124(C), pages 406-431.
    6. Stefano Della & Jörg Heining & Johannes F Schmieder & Simon Trenkle, 2022. "Evidence on Job Search Models from a Survey of Unemployed Workers in Germany [Reference-Dependent Preferences: Evidence from Marathon Runners]," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 137(2), pages 1181-1232.
    7. Atayev, Atabek, 2021. "Uncertain product availability in search markets," ZEW Discussion Papers 21-089, ZEW - Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research.
    8. Guo, Junjie, 2022. "The persistent impact of multiple offers," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(C).
    9. Cheng Wang & Youzhi Yang, 2023. "On the Pure Theory of Wage Dispersion," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 47, pages 246-277, January.
    10. Meier, Mario & Obermeier, Tim, 2017. "Employer Screening, Unemployment Stigma and Optimal Unemployment Insurance," EconStor Preprints 148303, ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics.
    11. Serdar Birinci & Kurt See & Shu Lin Wee, 2020. "Job Applications and Labor Market Flows," Working Papers 2020-023, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, revised Jan 2023.
    12. Xiaoming Cai & Pieter Gautier & Ronald Wolthoff, 2015. "Inclusive versus Exclusive Markets: Search Frictions and Competing Mechanisms," Working Papers tecipa-545, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Pieter A. Gautier & Jose Luis Moraga-Gonzalez & Ronald P. Wolthoff, 2007. "Structural Estimation of Search Intensity: Do Non-Employed Workers Search Enough?," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 07-071/3, Tinbergen Institute.
    2. Wolthoff, Ronald P., 2011. "It's About Time: Implications of the Period Length in an Equilibrium Job Search Model," IZA Discussion Papers 6002, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    3. Ronald P. Wolthoff, 2010. "Applications and Interviews: A Structural Analysis of Two-Sided Simultaneous Search," Working Papers tecipa-418, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
    4. Ronald Wolthoff, 2014. "It'S About Time: Implications Of The Period Length In An Equilibrium Search Model," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 55(3), pages 839-867, August.
    5. Pieter Gautier & Jose Luis Moraga-Gonzalez & Ronald Wolthoff, 2007. "Structural Estimation of Search Intensity: Do non-employed workers search hard enough?," 2007 Meeting Papers 695, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    6. Leo Kaas & Philipp Kircher, 2015. "Efficient Firm Dynamics in a Frictional Labor Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 105(10), pages 3030-3060, October.
    7. Andreas Hornstein & Per Krusell & Giovanni L. Violante, 2011. "Frictional Wage Dispersion in Search Models: A Quantitative Assessment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(7), pages 2873-2898, December.
    8. Michèle Belot & Philipp Kircher & Paul Muller, 2022. "How Wage Announcements Affect Job Search—A Field Experiment," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 14(4), pages 1-67, October.
    9. 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.
    10. Guido Menzio & Irina Telyukova & Ludo Visschers, 2016. "Directed Search over the Life Cycle," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 19, pages 38-62, January.
    11. Giuseppe Moscarini & Fabien Postel-Vinay, 2013. "Stochastic Search Equilibrium," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 80(4), pages 1545-1581.
    12. Sebastien Menard, 2019. "The impact of benefit sanctions on equilibrium wage dispersion and job vacancies," TEPP Working Paper 2019-08, TEPP.
    13. Rogerson, Richard & Shimer, Robert, 2011. "Search in Macroeconomic Models of the Labor Market," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 7, pages Pages: 61, Elsevier.
    14. repec:hal:spmain:info:hdl:2441/22qd4iha9ql84kd2t534hdeb is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Jake Bradley & Axel Gottfries, 2021. "A job ladder model with stochastic employment opportunities," Quantitative Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 12(4), pages 1399-1430, November.
    16. repec:hal:spmain:info:hdl:2441/5taek6gt3k8m0r69e1j1ombcc5 is not listed on IDEAS
    17. Peter Diamond, 2011. "Unemployment, Vacancies, Wages," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(4), pages 1045-1072, June.
    18. Mangin, Sephorah, 2017. "A theory of production, matching, and distribution," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 172(C), pages 376-409.
    19. Albrecht, James & Cai, Xiaoming & Gautier, Pieter & Vroman, Susan, 2020. "Multiple applications, competing mechanisms, and market power," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 190(C).
    20. Hornstein, Andreas & Krusell, Per & Violante, Giovanni L, 2006. "Frictional Wage Dispersion in Search Models: A Quantitative Approach," CEPR Discussion Papers 5935, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    21. Ronald Wolthoff, 2018. "Applications and Interviews: Firms’ Recruiting Decisions in a Frictional Labour Market," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 85(2), pages 1314-1351.
    22. Masters, Adrian, 2016. "On the firms’ component of wage dispersion: Endogenous effort versus search frictions," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 213-220.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Job search; Search cost heterogeneity; Labor market frictions; Wage dispersion; Welfare;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure
    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • C14 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Semiparametric and Nonparametric Methods: General

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:eecrev:v:84:y:2016:i:c:p:123-139. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/eer .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Catherine Liu (email available below). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/eer .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.