IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Technical skill bias as a response of firms to unemployment: A matching model with applicant ranking and endogenous skill requirements

  • Gavrel, Frédéric

This paper considers an economy with heterogeneous workers where identical firms optimally decide on the degree of complexity of jobs. Meetings are depicted by an urn-ball process where firms rank their applicants and pick the best one. We show that a general rise in unemployment induces an increase in the employment shares of high-skilled workers which, in turn, makes firms choose more complex jobs, leading then to a decrease in the output of low-skilled workers. The technical skill bias is therefore related to the usual explanations of unemployment. Next, we state that a decentralized equilibrium is efficient in terms of job complexity but inefficient in terms of job creation when firms internalize the usual congestion effect. We then extend the analysis to a dynamic model.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Labour Economics.

Volume (Year): 16 (2009)
Issue (Month): 3 (June)
Pages: 304-310

in new window

Handle: RePEc:eee:labeco:v:16:y:2009:i:3:p:304-310
Contact details of provider: Web page:

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Maite Blázquez & Marcel Jansen, 2005. "Search, Mismatch and Unemployment," Labor and Demography 0510012, EconWPA.
  2. James Albrecht, Pieter Gautier, & Susan Vroman, 2003. "Matching with Multiple Applications: The Limiting Case," Working Papers gueconwpa~03-03-25, Georgetown University, Department of Economics.
  3. Acemoglu, D., 1996. "Changes in Unemployment and Wage Inequality: An Alternative Theory and Some Evidence," Working papers 96-15, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  4. Stephen Nickell, 2003. "Poverty and worklessness in Britain," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 20038, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  5. Daron Acemoglu, 2000. "Technical Change, Inequality, and the Labor Market," NBER Working Papers 7800, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Marimon, Ramon & Zilibotti, Fabrizio, 1999. "Unemployment vs. Mismatch of Talents: Reconsidering Unemployment Benefits," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(455), pages 266-91, April.
  7. James Albrecht & Susan Vroman, 2002. "A Matching Model with Endogenous Skill Requirements," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 43(1), pages 283-305, February.
  8. Coen N. Teulings & Pieter A. Gautier, 2004. "The Right Man for the Job," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 71(2), pages 553-580, 04.
  9. Moen, Espen R, 1997. "Competitive Search Equilibrium," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(2), pages 385-411, April.
  10. Acemoglu, D., 1997. "Why Do New Technologies Complement Skills? Directed Technical Change and Wage Inequality," Working papers 97-14, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  11. Christopher A. Pissarides, 2000. "Equilibrium Unemployment Theory, 2nd Edition," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262161877, June.
  12. David H. Autor & Lawrence F. Katz & Alan B. Krueger, 1998. "Computing Inequality: Have Computers Changed The Labor Market?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 113(4), pages 1169-1213, November.
  13. Barbara Petrongolo & Christopher A. Pissarides, 2000. "Looking Into the Black Box: A Survey of the Matching Function," CEP Discussion Papers dp0470, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  14. Hosios, Arthur J, 1990. "On the Efficiency of Matching and Related Models of Search and Unemployment," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 57(2), pages 279-98, April.
  15. Holmlund, Bertil, 1997. "Unemployment Insurance in Theory and Practice," Working Paper Series 1997:25, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
  16. James W. Albrecht & Pieter A. Gautier & Susan B. Vroman, 2001. "Matching with Multiple Applications," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 01-080/3, Tinbergen Institute.
  17. Hungerbühler, Mathias & Lehmann, Etienne & Parmentier, Alexis & Van der Linden, Bruno, 2005. "Optimal Redistributive Taxation in a Search Equilibrium Model," IZA Discussion Papers 1460, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  18. Acemoglu, Daron, 2001. "Good Jobs versus Bad Jobs," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 19(1), pages 1-21, January.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:labeco:v:16:y:2009:i:3:p:304-310. 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: (Zhang, Lei)

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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

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

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.