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Estimating Mobility Rates in Search Models with Initial Condition Problems

Listed author(s):
  • Gadi Barlevy

    (Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago)

  • H. N. Nagaraja

    (Ohio State University)

Previous empirical work on job search has proposed different approaches to estimating mobility rates assumed in models of search. However, these methods either only work for specific models of wage determination, or else require that we know the initial distribution of productivity for workers in our sample. In this paper we show it is possible to estimate mobility rates without having to restrict attention to models in which wages are constant over the course of a job or to assume that the initial distribution of productivity is known. More generally, the approach we propose allows us to freely estimate one degree of unobserved heterogeneity, be it in initial conditions or mobility rates. Applying our results to data from the NLSY suggests that that the theoretical restrictions on the initial distribution of productivity implied by the standard model can overstate the extent of frictions to upward mobility. (Copyright: Elsevier)

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File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.red.2009.10.012
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Article provided by Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics in its journal Review of Economic Dynamics.

Volume (Year): 13 (2010)
Issue (Month): 4 (October)
Pages: 780-799

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Handle: RePEc:red:issued:08-112
DOI: 10.1016/j.red.2009.10.012
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  1. Heckman, James & Singer, Burton, 1984. "A Method for Minimizing the Impact of Distributional Assumptions in Econometric Models for Duration Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(2), pages 271-320, March.
  2. Pieter A. Gautier & Coen N. Teulings, 2006. "How Large are Search Frictions?," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 4(6), pages 1193-1225, December.
  3. Pierre Cahuc & Fabien Postel-Vinay & Jean-Marc Robin, 2006. "Wage Bargaining with On-the-Job Search: Theory and Evidence," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 74(2), pages 323-364, 03.
  4. Eckstein, Zvi & van den Berg, Gerard J., 2007. "Empirical labor search: A survey," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 136(2), pages 531-564, February.
  5. Audra J. Bowlus & Jean-Marc Robin, 2004. "Twenty Years of Rising Inequality in U.S. Lifetime Labour Income Values," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 71(3), pages 709-742.
  6. Pieter A. Gautier & Coen N. Teulings & Aico van Vuuren, 2005. "On-the-Job Search and Sorting," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 05-070/3, Tinbergen Institute.
  7. Jolivet, Gregory & Postel-Vinay, Fabien & Robin, Jean-Marc, 2006. "The empirical content of the job search model: Labor mobility and wage distributions in Europe and the US," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 50(4), pages 877-907, May.
  8. Fabien Postel-Vinay & Jean-Marc Robin, 2002. "Equilibrium Wage Dispersion with Worker and Employer Heterogeneity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(6), pages 2295-2350, November.
  9. Christopher J. Flinn, 2002. "Labour Market Structure and Inequality: A Comparison of Italy and the U.S," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 69(3), pages 611-645.
  10. Murphy, Kevin M & Topel, Robert H, 2002. "Estimation and Inference in Two-Step Econometric Models," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 20(1), pages 88-97, January.
  11. Burdett, Kenneth & Mortensen, Dale T, 1998. "Wage Differentials, Employer Size, and Unemployment," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 39(2), pages 257-273, May.
  12. Geert Ridder & Gerard J. van den Berg, 2003. "Measuring Labor Market Frictions: A Cross-Country Comparison," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 1(1), pages 224-244, 03.
  13. Gadi Barlevy & H. N. Nagaraja, 2005. "Characterizations in a random record model with a non-identically distributed initial record," Working Paper Series WP-05-05, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  14. Gadi Barlevy, 2008. "Identification of Search Models using Record Statistics," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 75(1), pages 29-64.
  15. Flinn, C. & Heckman, J., 1982. "New methods for analyzing structural models of labor force dynamics," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 115-168, January.
  16. Bunge, J. A. & Nagaraja, H. N., 1991. "The distributions of certain record statistics from a random number of observations," Stochastic Processes and their Applications, Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 167-183, June.
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