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Returns to scale in a matching model: evidence from disaggregated panel data

  • Aki Kangasharju
  • Jaakko Pehkonen
  • Sari Pekkala

The returns to scale in the matching function play an important role in models with endogenous search effort. Due to positive externalities, increasing returns to scale in matching can support high or low activity equilibrium in the labour market. In this study, we examine this issue using panel data from Finnish employment offices. The study finds that the results from the Cobb-Douglas and translog specification are qualitatively different. The CD specification of the matching function exhibits constant returns to scale. The translog specification, in turn, exhibits increasing returns to scale. The elasticity estimate for returns, using the preferred specification and minimum and maximum sample values for job seekers and vacancies, fall in the range of 1.1 to 1.6.

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Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Applied Economics.

Volume (Year): 37 (2005)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 115-118

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Handle: RePEc:taf:applec:v:37:y:2005:i:1:p:115-118
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  1. Coles, Melvyn & Petrongolo, Barbara, 2003. "A Test between Unemployment Theories Using Matching Data," IZA Discussion Papers 723, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Burda, Michael & Wyplosz, Charles, 1994. "Gross worker and job flows in Europe," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 38(6), pages 1287-1315, June.
  3. Daniel Munich & Jan Svejnar & Katherine Terrell, 1998. "Worker-Firm Matching and Unemployment in Transition to a Market Economy: (Why) Were the Czechs More Successful than Others?," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 107, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
  4. Barbara Petrongolo & Christopher Pissarides, 2000. "Looking into the black box: a survey of the matching function," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 2122, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  5. Burdett, Kenneth & Coles, Melvyn G & van Ours, Jan C, 1994. "Temporal Aggregation Bias in Stock-Flow Models," CEPR Discussion Papers 967, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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