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Working hard in the wrong place: A mismatch-based explanation to the UK productivity puzzle

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  • Patterson, Christina
  • Şahin, Ayşegül
  • Topa, Giorgio
  • Violante, Giovanni L.

Abstract

The UK experienced an unusually prolonged stagnation in labor productivity in the aftermath of the Great Recession. This paper analyzes the role of sectoral labor misallocation in accounting for this “productivity puzzle”. If jobseekers disproportionately search for jobs in sectors where productivity is relatively low, hires are concentrated in the wrong sectors, and the post-recession recovery in aggregate productivity can be slow. Our calculations suggest that, quantified at the level of three-digit occupations, this mechanism can explain up to two thirds of the deviations from trend-growth in UK labor productivity since 2007.

Suggested Citation

  • Patterson, Christina & Şahin, Ayşegül & Topa, Giorgio & Violante, Giovanni L., 2016. "Working hard in the wrong place: A mismatch-based explanation to the UK productivity puzzle," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 84(C), pages 42-56.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:eecrev:v:84:y:2016:i:c:p:42-56
    DOI: 10.1016/j.euroecorev.2015.10.013
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Claudia Macaluso, 2017. "Skill Remoteness and Post-layoff Labor Market Outcomes," 2017 Meeting Papers 569, Society for Economic Dynamics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Mismatch; Productivity; Business cycles;

    JEL classification:

    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J63 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Turnover; Vacancies; Layoffs

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