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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.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Labour Economics.

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

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Handle: RePEc:eee:labeco:v:16:y:2009:i:3:p:304-310
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/labeco

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  1. 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.
  2. Maite Blázquez & Marcel Jansen, 2005. "Search, Mismatch and Unemployment," Labor and Demography 0510012, EconWPA.
  3. 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.
  4. David H. Autor & Lawrence F. Katz & Alan B. Krueger, 1997. "Computing Inequality: Have Computers Changed the Labor Market?," NBER Working Papers 5956, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Coen N. Teulings & Pieter A. Gautier, 2000. "The Right Man for the Job," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 00-038/3, Tinbergen Institute.
  6. Petrongolo, Barbara & Pissarides, Christopher, 2000. "Looking Into The Black Box: A Survey Of The Matching Function," CEPR Discussion Papers 2409, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Acemoglu, Daron, 2001. "Good Jobs versus Bad Jobs," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 19(1), pages 1-21, January.
  10. 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.
  11. 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).
  12. Albrecht, James W. & Gautier, Pieter A. & Vroman, Susan B., 2003. "Matching with multiple applications," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 78(1), pages 67-70, January.
  13. Stephen Nickell, 2004. "Poverty And Worklessness In Britain," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(494), pages C1-C25, 03.
  14. 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.
  15. Holmlund, B., 1997. "Unemployment Insurance in Theory and Practice," CEPR Discussion Papers 380, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
  16. Daron Acemoglu, 2002. "Technical Change, Inequality, and the Labor Market," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 40(1), pages 7-72, March.
  17. Christopher A. Pissarides, 2000. "Equilibrium Unemployment Theory, 2nd Edition," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262161877, June.
  18. Moen, E.R., 1995. "Competitive Search Equilibrium," Memorandum 37/1995, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
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