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Comparative advantage and unemployment

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  • Bils, Mark
  • Chang, Yongsung
  • Kim, Sun-Bin

Abstract

Worker heterogeneity in productivity and labor supply is introduced into a matching model. Workers who earn high wages and work high-hours are identified as those with strong market comparative advantage—high rents from being employed. The model is calibrated to match separation, job finding, and employment in the SIPP data. The model predicts a big drop in employment for workers with weak comparative advantage during recessions. But the data show that workers with strong comparative advantage also display sizable employment fluctuations, implying that aggregate employment fluctuations are not explained by the responses of workers with small rents to employment.

Suggested Citation

  • Bils, Mark & Chang, Yongsung & Kim, Sun-Bin, 2012. "Comparative advantage and unemployment," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(2), pages 150-165.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:moneco:v:59:y:2012:i:2:p:150-165
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jmoneco.2012.01.001
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    Cited by:

    1. Chassamboulli, Andri, 2013. "Labor-market volatility in a matching model with worker heterogeneity and endogenous separations," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(C), pages 217-229.
    2. repec:eee:labeco:v:50:y:2018:i:c:p:20-31 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. José Mustre-del-Río, 2011. "The aggregate implications of individual labor supply heterogeneity," Research Working Paper RWP 11-09, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
    4. Ronald Bachmann & Mathias Sinning, 2016. "Decomposing the Ins and Outs of Cyclical Unemployment," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 78(6), pages 853-876, December.
    5. Lalé, Etienne, 2018. "Loss of skill and labor market fluctuations," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 20-31.
    6. Michael Dotsey & Wenli Li & Fang Yang, 2014. "Consumption And Time Use Over The Life Cycle," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 55, pages 665-692, August.
    7. Gabriel Chodorow-Reich & Loukas Karabarbounis, 2016. "The Cyclicality of the Opportunity Cost of Employment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 124(6), pages 1563-1618.
    8. Andreas I. Mueller, 2017. "Separations, Sorting, and Cyclical Unemployment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 107(7), pages 2081-2107, July.
    9. Raj Chetty & Adam Guren & Day Manoli & Andrea Weber, 2013. "Does Indivisible Labor Explain the Difference between Micro and Macro Elasticities? A Meta-Analysis of Extensive Margin Elasticities," NBER Macroeconomics Annual, University of Chicago Press, vol. 27(1), pages 1-56.
    10. repec:eee:ecmode:v:67:y:2017:i:c:p:125-135 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Andrés Erosa & Luisa Fuster & Gueorgui Kambourov, 2016. "Towards a Micro-Founded Theory of Aggregate Labour Supply," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 83(3), pages 1001-1039.
    12. repec:eee:dyncon:v:78:y:2017:i:c:p:88-101 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Jose Mustre-del-Rio, 2015. "Wealth and Labor Supply Heterogeneity," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 18(3), pages 619-634, July.
    14. 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.
    15. Gomme, Paul & Lkhagvasuren, Damba, 2015. "Worker search effort as an amplification mechanism," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 75(C), pages 106-122.
    16. repec:eee:labeco:v:46:y:2017:i:c:p:118-130 is not listed on IDEAS
    17. Makoto Nakajima, 2012. "Business Cycles In The Equilibrium Model Of Labor Market Search And Self‐Insurance," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 53(2), pages 399-432, May.

    More about this item

    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
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles

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