Inefficient Unemployment Dynamics under Asymmetric Information
I explore the efficiency properties of a competitive search model with match-specific private information and limited commitment on the workers' side. In a static setting the competitive search equilibrium is constrained efficient, whereas in a dynamic setting it is constrained inefficient whenever the initial unemployment rate is different from its steady-state level. Inefficiency arises because the workers' outside option becomes endogenous and affects the severity of the distortion due to the informational friction. This generates a novel externality: firms offering contracts at a given time do not internalize their effect on the outside option of workers hired in previous periods. (c) 2008 by The University of Chicago. All rights reserved.
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