IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Matching frictions, unemployment dynamics and the cost of business cycles


  • Jean-Olivier Hairault

    (Universite de Paris I)

  • Francois Langot

    (Universite du Maine)

  • Sophie Osotimehin

    (Universite de Paris I)


We investigate the welfare cost of business cycles implied by matching frictions. First, using the reduced-form of the matching model, we show that job finding rate fluctuations generate intrinsically a non-linear effect on unemployment: positive shocks reduce unemployment less than negative shocks increase it. For the observed process of the job finding rate in the US economy, this intrinsic asymmetry increases average unemployment, which leads to substantial business cycles costs. Moreover, the structural matching model embeds other non-linearities, which alter the average job finding rate and consequently the welfare cost of business cycles. Our theory suggests to subsidize employment in order to dampen the impact of the job finding rate fluctuations on welfare. (Copyright: Elsevier)

Suggested Citation

  • Jean-Olivier Hairault & Francois Langot & Sophie Osotimehin, 2010. "Matching frictions, unemployment dynamics and the cost of business cycles," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 13(4), pages 759-779, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:red:issued:09-238
    DOI: 10.1016/

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Access to full texts is restricted to ScienceDirect subscribers and institutional members. See for details.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. John Kennan, 2010. "Private Information, Wage Bargaining and Employment Fluctuations," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 77(2), pages 633-664.
    2. Philip Jung & Keith Kuester, 2008. "The (un)importance of unemployment fluctuations for welfare," Working Papers 08-31, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, revised 29 Apr 2009.
    3. Olivier Blanchard & Jordi Galí, 2010. "Labor Markets and Monetary Policy: A New Keynesian Model with Unemployment," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(2), pages 1-30, April.
    4. Andrea Bassanini & Romain Duval, 2006. "Employment Patterns in OECD Countries: Reassessing the Role of Policies and Institutions," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 486, OECD Publishing.
    5. Hairault, Jean-Olivier & Langot, François & Osotimehin, Sophie, 2008. "Unemployment Dynamics and the Cost of Business Cycles," IZA Discussion Papers 3840, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    6. Garey Ramey & Valerie A. Ramey, 1991. "Technology Commitment and the Cost of Economic Fluctuations," NBER Working Papers 3755, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Eleni Iliopulos & François Langot & Thepthida Sopraseuth, 2014. "Welfare Cost of Fluctuations: when Labor Market Search Interacts with Financial Frictions," Documents de travail du Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne 14042, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1), Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne.
    2. Jochen Mankart & Rigas Oikonomou, 2017. "Household Search and the Aggregate Labour Market," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 84(4), pages 1735-1788.
    3. Ascari, Guido & Ropele, Tiziano, 2012. "Disinflation in a DSGE perspective: Sacrifice ratio or welfare gain ratio?," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 169-182.
    4. Jung, Philip & Kuester, Keith, 2011. "The (un)importance of unemployment fluctuations for the welfare cost of business cycles," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 35(10), pages 1744-1768, October.
    5. Stefano, Fasani, 2016. "Long-run Unemployment and Macroeconomic Volatility," Working Papers 352, University of Milano-Bicocca, Department of Economics, revised 18 Oct 2016.
    6. Jana Kremer & Nikolai Stähler, 2016. "Structural and Cyclical Effects of Tax Progression," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 72(1), pages 41-73, March.
    7. Nils Gornemann & Keith Kuester & Makoto Nakajima, 2016. "Doves for the Rich, Hawks for the Poor? Distributional Consequences of Monetary Policy," International Finance Discussion Papers 1167, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    8. Dongya Koh & Raül Santaeulàlia-Llopis, 2017. "Countercyclical Elasticity of Substitution," Working Papers 946, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
    9. Acedański, Jan, 2016. "Youth unemployment and welfare gains from eliminating business cycles — The case of Poland," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 248-262.
    10. Ekkehard Ernst & Uma Rani, 2011. "Understanding unemployment flows," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 27(2), pages 268-294.
    11. Antoine Lepetit, 2016. "Asymmetric Unemployment Fluctuations and Monetary Policy Trade-offs," Working Papers hal-01536416, HAL.
    12. Thomas COUDERT & Thierry BETTI, 2016. "How harmful are cuts in public employment and wage in times of high unemployment?," Working Papers of LaRGE Research Center 2016-05, Laboratoire de Recherche en Gestion et Economie (LaRGE), Université de Strasbourg.

    More about this item


    Business cycle costs; Unemployment dynamics; Matching;

    JEL classification:

    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:red:issued:09-238. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Christian Zimmermann). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.