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Worker Heterogeneity and Labor Market Volatility in Matching Models

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  • Michael Pries

    (University of Notre Dame)

Abstract

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)

Suggested Citation

  • Michael Pries, 2008. "Worker Heterogeneity and Labor Market Volatility in Matching Models," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 11(3), pages 664-678, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:red:issued:06-175
    DOI: 10.1016/j.red.2006.10.003
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    2. Mortensen, Dale & Pissarides, Christopher, 2011. "Job Creation and Job Destruction in the Theory of Unemployment," Economic Policy, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration, vol. 1, pages 1-19.
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    5. Daron Acemoglu, 1999. "Changes in Unemployment and Wage Inequality: An Alternative Theory and Some Evidence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(5), pages 1259-1278, December.
    6. Costain, James S. & Reiter, Michael, 2008. "Business cycles, unemployment insurance, and the calibration of matching models," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 32(4), pages 1120-1155, April.
    7. Robert Shimer, 2001. "The Impact of Young Workers on the Aggregate Labor Market," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(3), pages 969-1007.
    8. 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.
    9. Arthur J. Hosios, 1990. "On The Efficiency of Matching and Related Models of Search and Unemployment," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 57(2), pages 279-298.
    10. Robert E. Hall, 2005. "The Amplification of Unemployment Fluctuations through Self-Selection," NBER Working Papers 11186, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Cited by:

    1. Raven E. Saks & Abigail Wozniak, 2011. "Labor Reallocation over the Business Cycle: New Evidence from Internal Migration," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 29(4), pages 697-739.
    2. 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.
    3. Ronald Bachmann & Mathias Sinning, 2011. "Decomposing the Ins and Outs of Cyclical Unemployment," Ruhr Economic Papers 0305, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.
    4. Martin Gervais & Nir Jaimovich & Henry E. Siu & Yaniv Yedid‐Levi, 2015. "Technological Learning And Labor Market Dynamics," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 56, pages 27-53, February.
    5. Arseneau, David M. & Epstein, Brendan, 2014. "The Welfare Costs of Skill-Mismatch Employment," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2014-42, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    6. 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.
    7. Sergio A. Lago Alves, 2012. "Trend Inflation and the Unemployment Volatility Puzzle," Working Papers Series 277, Central Bank of Brazil, Research Department.
    8. Etienne Lalé, 2015. "Loss of Skill and Labor Market Fluctuations," Bristol Economics Discussion Papers 15/668, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK, revised 18 Jan 2017.
    9. Andreas I. Mueller, 2017. "Separations, Sorting, and Cyclical Unemployment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 107(7), pages 2081-2107, July.
    10. Moritz Kuhn & Philip Jung, 2010. "Labor market rigidity and the transmission of business cycle shocks," 2010 Meeting Papers 595, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    11. Bils, Mark & Chang, Yongsung & Kim, Sun-Bin, 2012. "Comparative advantage and unemployment," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(2), pages 150-165.
    12. Liu, Xiangbo, 2010. "On the macroeconomic and welfare effects of illegal immigration," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 34(12), pages 2547-2567, December.
    13. Mark Bils & Yongsung Chang & Sun-Bin Kim, 2007. "Comparative Advantage in Cyclical Unemployment," Discussion Paper Series 0713, Institute of Economic Research, Korea University.
    14. Brendan Epstein, 2012. "Heterogeneous workers, optimal job seeking, and aggregate labor market dynamics," International Finance Discussion Papers 1053, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    15. Gervais, Martin & Jaimovich, Nir & Siu, Henry E. & Yedid-Levi, Yaniv, 2016. "What should I be when I grow up? Occupations and unemployment over the life cycle," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 83(C), pages 54-70.
    16. Matthias S. Hertweck & Oliver Sigrist, 2012. "The Aggregate Effects of the Hartz Reforms in Germany," Working Paper Series of the Department of Economics, University of Konstanz 2012-38, Department of Economics, University of Konstanz.
    17. David Fuller & Stephane Auray & Damba Lkhagvasuren, 2013. "Unemployment Insurance Take-up Rates in an Equilibrium Search Model," Working Papers 13001, Concordia University, Department of Economics.
    18. Tali Regev, 2006. "Unemployment insurance and the uninsured," Working Paper Series 2006-48, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
    19. Mark Bils & Yongsung Chang & Sun-Bin Kim, 2008. "Heterogeneity and Cyclical Unemployment," RCER Working Papers 543, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
    20. Mark Bils & Yongsung Chang & Sun-Bin Kim, 2011. "Worker Heterogeneity and Endogenous Separations in a Matching Model of Unemployment Fluctuations," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(1), pages 128-154, January.
    21. repec:zbw:rwirep:0305 is not listed on IDEAS
    22. Sergio A. Lago Alves, 2016. "Monetary Policy, Trend Inflation and Unemployment Volatility," Working Papers Series 450, Central Bank of Brazil, Research Department.
    23. Huikang Ying, 2015. "Labour Informality, Selective Migration, and Productivity in General Equilibrium," Bristol Economics Discussion Papers 15/653, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
    24. 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

    Keywords

    Volatility; Amplification; Matching models; Worker heterogeneity;

    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
    • 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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