IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Work Histories And Lifetime Unemployment


  • Iacopo Morchio


A long‐standing question in economics is how important unobserved differences across workers are for explaining unemployment. I revisit this topic using variation in lifetime unemployment across workers in U.S. data. A comparison of workers often unemployed with the rest shows that although differences in job‐finding rates increase over the course of a career, differences in job‐separation rates are large right from the start. I develop a directed search model with symmetric unobserved heterogeneity, in which agents learn workers' types from their labor market histories, to rationalize these findings. The model cannot match the data if unobserved heterogeneity is neglected.

Suggested Citation

  • Iacopo Morchio, 2020. "Work Histories And Lifetime Unemployment," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 61(1), pages 321-350, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:iecrev:v:61:y:2020:i:1:p:321-350
    DOI: 10.1111/iere.12425

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL:
    LibKey link: if access is restricted and if your library uses this service, LibKey will redirect you to where you can use your library subscription to access this item


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Hie Joo Ahn & Bart Hobijn & Ayşegül Şahin, 2023. "The Dual U.S. Labor Market Uncovered," NBER Working Papers 31241, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Pizzinelli, Carlo & Speigner, Bradley, 2017. "Matching efficiency and labour market heterogeneity in the United Kingdom," Bank of England working papers 667, Bank of England.
    3. Denderski, Piotr & Stoltenberg, Christian A., 2023. "On the existence of private unemployment insurance with advance information on future job losses," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 224(C).
    4. Häkkinen Skans, Iida & Carlsson, Mikael & Nordström Skans, Oskar, 2017. "Wage Flexibility in a Unionized Economy with Stable Wage Dispersion," Working Papers 149, National Institute of Economic Research.
    5. Victoria Gregory & Guido Menzio & David G. Wiczer, 2021. "The Alpha Beta Gamma of the Labor Market," NBER Working Papers 28663, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Robert E. Hall & Marianna Kudlyak, 2019. "Job-Finding and Job-Losing: A Comprehensive Model of Heterogeneous Individual Labor-Market Dynamics," NBER Working Papers 25625, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Moritz Kuhn & Gašper Ploj, 2020. "Job Stability, Earnings Dynamics, and Life-Cycle Savings," CESifo Working Paper Series 8710, CESifo.
    8. Victoria Gregory & Guido Menzio & David Wiczer, 2020. "Pandemic Recession: L- or V-Shaped?," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, vol. 40(01), pages 1-31, May.
    9. Garibaldi, Pietro & Gomes, Pedro Maia, 2022. "Temporary Replacement Workers in a Matching Model with Employment at Will," IZA Discussion Papers 15503, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wly:iecrev:v:61:y:2020:i:1:p:321-350. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no bibliographic references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Wiley Content Delivery (email available below). General contact details of provider: .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service. RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.