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Job Search and Savings: Wealth Effects and Duration Dependence

  • Rasmus Lentz

    (Boston University)

  • Torben Tranas

    (Rockwool Foundation Research Unit)

This article studies a risk-averse worker's optimal savings and job search behavior as she moves back and forth between employment and unemployment. We show that job search effort is negatively related to wealth under the assumption of additively separable utility. Consequently, job search exhibits positive unemployment duration dependence because wealth is drawn down to smooth consumption as the spell progresses. Finally, given optimal search, savings still provide imperfect insurance against income fluctuations; precautionary savings are built up during employment spells and run down during unemployment spells, but the consumption path will not be perfectly smooth over states.

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Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal Journal of Labor Economics.

Volume (Year): 23 (2005)
Issue (Month): 3 (July)
Pages: 467-490

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Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlabec:v:23:y:2005:i:3:p:467-490
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/JOLE/

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  1. McCall, John J, 1970. "Economics of Information and Job Search," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 84(1), pages 113-26, February.
  2. Martin Browning & Thomas F. Crossley, 2000. "Shocks, Stocks and Socks: Consumption Smoothing and the Replacement of Durables During an Unemployment Spell," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 0386, Econometric Society.
  3. van den Berg, G. & van Ours, J.C., 1996. "Unemployment dynamics and duration dependence," Other publications TiSEM 4374742f-8d86-458d-9ab3-6, School of Economics and Management.
  4. Wang, Cheng & Williamson, Stephen D., 2002. "Moral Hazard, Optimal Unemployment Insurance and Experience Rating," Staff General Research Papers 10133, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  5. Phelan, C. & Townsend, R.M., 1990. "Computing Multiperiod, Information-Constrained Optima," University of Chicago - Economics Research Center 90-13, Chicago - Economics Research Center.
  6. Diamond, Peter A, 1982. "Wage Determination and Efficiency in Search Equilibrium," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 49(2), pages 217-27, April.
  7. Daron Acemoglu & Robert Shimer, 1999. "Efficient Unemployment Insurance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(5), pages 893-928, October.
  8. Hopenhayn, H. & Nicolini, P.J., 1996. "Optimal Unemployment Insurance," RCER Working Papers 421, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  9. Aiyagari, S Rao, 1994. "Uninsured Idiosyncratic Risk and Aggregate Saving," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 109(3), pages 659-84, August.
  10. Shavell, Steven & Weiss, Laurence, 1979. "The Optimal Payment of Unemployment Insurance Benefits over Time," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(6), pages 1347-62, December.
  11. Dale T. Mortensen, 1977. "Unemployment insurance and job search decisions," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 30(4), pages 505-517, July.
  12. Bruce D. Meyer, 1988. "Unemployment Insurance And Unemployment Spells," NBER Working Papers 2546, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Kenneth Burdett & Dale T. Mortensen, 1977. "Labor Supply Under Uncertainty," Discussion Papers 297, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  14. van den Berg, Gerard J & van Ours, Jan C, 1996. "Unemployment Dynamics and Duration Dependence," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 14(1), pages 100-125, January.
  15. repec:ner:tilbur:urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-86874 is not listed on IDEAS
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