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Worker Heterogeneity and Labor Market Volatility in Matching Models

  • Michael Pries

    (University of Notre Dame)

Shimer (2005) demonstrated that aggregate productivity shocks in a standard matching model cause fluctuations in key labor market statistics---such as the job-finding rate, the vacancy/unemployment ratio, and the unemployment rate---that are too small by an order of magnitude. This paper shows that when the standard model is extended to allow for worker heterogeneity, it exhibits considerably greater volatility. In the model, marginal workers, whose productivity only slightly exceeds the value of their alternative use of time, constitute a disproportionate share of unemployment on average, and that share rises when aggregate conditions deteriorate. These composition effects cause firms to open fewer vacancies during downturns. (Copyright: Elsevier)

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File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.red.2006.10.003
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Article provided by Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics in its journal Review of Economic Dynamics.

Volume (Year): 11 (2008)
Issue (Month): 3 (July)
Pages: 664-678

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Handle: RePEc:red:issued:06-175
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  1. James Costain & Michael Reiter, 2005. "Business Cycles, Unemployment Insurance and the Calibration of Matching Models," Working Papers 215, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
  2. Jacobson, Louis S & LaLonde, Robert J & Sullivan, Daniel G, 1993. "Earnings Losses of Displaced Workers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(4), pages 685-709, September.
  3. Acemoglu, Daron, 1996. "Changes in Unemployment and Wage Inequality: An Alternative Theory and Some Evidence," CEPR Discussion Papers 1459, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Dale T. Mortensen & Christopher A. Pissarides, 1993. "Job Creation and Job Destruction in the Theory of Unemployment," CEP Discussion Papers dp0110, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  5. Nickell, Stephen & Bell, Brian, 1995. "The Collapse in Demand for the Unskilled and Unemployment across the OECD," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 11(1), pages 40-62, Spring.
  6. Dolado, Juan J. & Jansen, Marcel & Jimeno, Juan F, 2003. "On-the-Job Search in a Matching Model with Heterogeneous Jobs and Workers," CEPR Discussion Papers 4094, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Marcus Hagedorn & Iourii Manovskii, 2005. "The Cyclical Behavior of Equilibrium Unemployment and Vacancies Revisited," 2005 Meeting Papers 460, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  8. Robert Shimer, 2001. "The Impact Of Young Workers On The Aggregate Labor Market," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 116(3), pages 969-1007, August.
  9. Robert E. Hall, 2005. "The Amplification of Unemployment Fluctuations through Self-Selection," NBER Working Papers 11186, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Robert E. Hall, 2005. "Employment Fluctuations with Equilibrium Wage Stickiness," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 50-65, March.
  11. 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.
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