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Unemployment with Observable Aggregate Shocks

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  • Grossman, Sanford J
  • Hart, Oliver D
  • Maskin, Eric S

Abstract

A general equilibrium model of' optimal employment contracts is developed where firms have better information about labor's marginal product than workers. It is optimal for the wage to be tied to the level of employment, to prevent the firm from falsely stating that the marginal product is low and cutting the wage. It is shown that an observed aggregate shock that leads to an interindustry shift in labor demand and that would have no effect on total employment under symmetric information leads to a reduction in employment when firms and workers have asymmetric information.
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Suggested Citation

  • Grossman, Sanford J & Hart, Oliver D & Maskin, Eric S, 1983. "Unemployment with Observable Aggregate Shocks," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(6), pages 907-928, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jpolec:v:91:y:1983:i:6:p:907-28
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Taylor, John B, 1980. "Aggregate Dynamics and Staggered Contracts," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 88(1), pages 1-23, February.
    2. Grossman, Sanford J & Hart, Oliver D, 1981. "Implicit Contracts, Moral Hazard, and Unemployment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(2), pages 301-307, May.
    3. Blanchard, Olivier Jean, 1979. "Wage Indexing Rules and the Behavior of the Economy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(4), pages 798-815, August.
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    5. Stanley Fischer & Franco Modigliani, 1978. "Towards an understanding of the real effects and costs of inflation," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 114(4), pages 810-833, December.
    6. Grossman, Sanford J & Weiss, Laurence, 1982. "Heterogeneous Information and the Theory of the Business Cycle," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 90(4), pages 699-727, August.
    7. Bengt Holmstrom & Laurence Weiss, 1985. "Managerial Incentives, Investment and Aggregate Implications: Scale Effects," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 52(3), pages 403-425.
    8. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1972. "Expectations and the neutrality of money," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 103-124, April.
    9. Partha Dasgupta & Peter Hammond & Eric Maskin, 1979. "The Implementation of Social Choice Rules: Some General Results on Incentive Compatibility," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 46(2), pages 185-216.
    10. Parks, Richard W, 1978. "Inflation and Relative Price Variability," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(1), pages 79-95, February.
    11. Fischer, Stanley, 1982. "Relative price variability and inflation in the United States and Germany," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 171-196.
    12. Fischer, Stanley, 1982. "Relative price variability and inflation in the United States and Germany," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 171-196.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Holmstrom, Bengt R. & Tirole, Jean, 1989. "The theory of the firm," Handbook of Industrial Organization,in: R. Schmalensee & R. Willig (ed.), Handbook of Industrial Organization, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 2, pages 61-133 Elsevier.
    2. Ian M. McDonald, 1984. "Trying to Understand Stagflation," Australian Economic Review, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, vol. 17(3), pages 32-56.
    3. William P. Osterberg, 1992. "Intervention and the bid-ask spread in G-3 foreign exchange rates," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, issue Q II, pages 2-13.
    4. Julio J. Rotemberg & Garth Saloner, 1984. "A Supergame-Theoretic Model of Business Cycles and Price Wars During Booms," Working papers 349, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
    5. Haubrich, Joseph G & King, Robert G, 1991. "Sticky Prices, Money, and Business Fluctuations," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 23(2), pages 243-259, May.
    6. Azaridis, C, 1987. "Human Capital and Self-Enforcing Contracts," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 281, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
    7. Greenwald, Bruce C. & Stiglitz, Joseph E., 1987. "Imperfect information, credit markets and unemployment," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(1-2), pages 444-456.
    8. Kahn, Charles M. & Mookherjee, Dilip, 1995. "Market failure with moral hazard and side trading," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(2), pages 159-184, October.
    9. Azariadis, Costas, 1987. "Human Capital And Self-Enforcing Contracts," Economic Research Papers 268330, University of Warwick - Department of Economics.
    10. Russell Cooper, 1986. "Optimal Labor Contracts, Imperfect Competition and Underemployment Equilibria: A Framework for Analysis," NBER Working Papers 2060, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Joseph G. Haubrich, 1992. "Sluggish deposit rates: endogenous institutions and aggregate fluctuations," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, issue Q II, pages 23-35.
    12. Ruiz-Verdú, Pablo, 2002. "Employer behavior when workers can unionize," DEE - Working Papers. Business Economics. WB wb020803, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Departamento de Economía de la Empresa.
    13. Duranton, Gilles & Haniotis, Toni, 2004. "A comparison between economic systems with an application to transition," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(9-10), pages 2125-2157, August.
    14. Matthew B. Canzoneri & Anne C. Sibert, 1984. "The macroeconomic implications of labor contracting with asymmetric information," International Finance Discussion Papers 248, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).

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