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Financial Disruptions and the Cyclical Upgrading of Labor

Author

Listed:
  • Brendan Epstein

    (University of Massachusetts, Lowell)

  • Alan Finkelstein Shapiro

    (Tufts University)

  • Andres Gonzalez Gomez

    (International Monetary Fund)

Abstract

Amid total factor productivity (TFP) shocks job-to-job flows amplify the volatility of unemployment, but the aggregate implications of job-to-job flows amid financial shocks are less understood. To develop such understanding we model a general equilibrium labor-search framework that incorporates on-the-job (OTJ) search and distinctly accounts for the differential impact of TFP and financial shocks. Surprisingly, we find that the interaction of OTJ search with financial shocks is sufficiently different from its interaction with TFP shocks so that, under standard calibrations, our model generates aggregate dynamics exceedingly in line with the behavior of key U.S. macro data across several decades and in the wake of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) as well. Importantly, as in the data, the model yields relatively high volatilities of consumption, labor income, and unemployment. As such, our work contributes to resolving two limitations of current general equilibrium labor-search theory: under standard calibrations and amid TFP shocks, only, models without OTJ search generate implausibly low unemployment volatility, while models with OTJ search generate unemployment volatility closer to the data but at the expense of implausibly low consumption and labor-income volatility. (Copyright: Elsevier)

Suggested Citation

  • Brendan Epstein & Alan Finkelstein Shapiro & Andres Gonzalez Gomez, 2017. "Financial Disruptions and the Cyclical Upgrading of Labor," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 26, pages 204-224, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:red:issued:16-15
    DOI: 10.1016/j.red.2017.05.001
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Business cycles; Financial frictions; Labor search frictions; On-the-job search;

    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
    • E44 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy

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