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Generalized Matching Functions and Resource Utilization Indices for the Labor Market

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  • Andreas Hornstein
  • Marianna Kudlyak

Abstract

In the U.S. labor market, unemployed individuals who are actively looking for work are more than three times as likely to become employed than those individuals who are not actively looking for work and are considered to be out of the labor force (OLF). Yet, on average, every month twice as many people make the transition from OLF to employment than make the transition from unemployment to employment. Based on these observations, we have argued in Hornstein, Kudlyak, and Lange (2014) for an alternative measure of resource utilization in the labor market, a nonemployment index (NEI), that is more comprehensive than the standard unemployment rate. In this article, we show how the NEI fits into recent extensions of the matching function (which is a standard macroeconomic approach to model labor markets with frictions), how it affects estimates of the extent of labor market frictions, and how these frictions have changed in the Great Recession.

Suggested Citation

  • Andreas Hornstein & Marianna Kudlyak, 2016. "Generalized Matching Functions and Resource Utilization Indices for the Labor Market," Economic Quarterly, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, issue 2Q, pages 105-126.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedreq:00046
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    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.
    2. Flinn, Christopher J & Heckman, James J, 1983. "Are Unemployment and Out of the Labor Force Behaviorally Distinct Labor Force States?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 1(1), pages 28-42, January.
    3. Regis Barnichon & Andrew Figura, 2015. "Labor Market Heterogeneity and the Aggregate Matching Function," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 7(4), pages 222-249, October.
    4. 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.
    5. Andreas Hornstein & Marianna Kudlyak & Fabian Lange, 2014. "Measuring Resource Utilization in the Labor Market," Economic Quarterly, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, issue 1Q, pages 1-21.
    6. Robert Shimer, 2012. "Reassessing the Ins and Outs of Unemployment," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 15(2), pages 127-148, April.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    utilization; nonemployment index; Labor market;
    All these keywords.

    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
    • J63 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Turnover; Vacancies; Layoffs
    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search

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