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Beyond Cobb-Douglas: Flexibly Estimating Matching Functions with Unobserved Matching Efficiency

Author

Listed:
  • Fabian Lange

    (McGill University)

  • Theodore Papageorgiou

    (Boston College)

Abstract

Exploiting results from the literature on non-parametric identification, we make three methodological contributions to the empirical literature estimating the matching function, commonly used to map unemployment and vacancies into hires. First, we show how to non-parametrically identify the matching function. Second, we estimate the matching function allowing for unobserved matching efficacy, without imposing the usual independence assumption between matching efficiency and search on either side of the labor market. Third, we allow for multiple types of jobseekers and consider an “augmented” Beveridge curve that includes them. Our estimated elasticity of hires with respect to vacancies is procyclical and varies between 0.15 and 0.3. This is substantially lower than common estimates suggesting that a significant bias stems from the commonly-used independence assumption. Moreover, variation in match efficiency accounts for much of the decline in hires during the Great Recession.

Suggested Citation

  • Fabian Lange & Theodore Papageorgiou, 2020. "Beyond Cobb-Douglas: Flexibly Estimating Matching Functions with Unobserved Matching Efficiency," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 1006, Boston College Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:boc:bocoec:1006
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Christopher A. Pissarides, 2000. "Equilibrium Unemployment Theory, 2nd Edition," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262161877, February.
    2. Kory Kroft & Fabian Lange & Matthew J. Notowidigdo & Lawrence F. Katz, 2016. "Long-Term Unemployment and the Great Recession: The Role of Composition, Duration Dependence, and Nonparticipation," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 34(S1), pages 7-54.
    3. Kudlyak, Marianna & Lange, Fabian, 2014. "Measuring Heterogeneity in Job Finding Rates Among the Nonemployed Using Labor Force Status Histories," IZA Discussion Papers 8663, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    4. Daniel Borowczyk-Martins & Gregory Jolivet & Fabien Postel-Vinay, 2013. "Accounting For Endogeneity in Matching Function Estimation," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 16(3), pages 440-451, July.
    5. Giulia Brancaccio & Myrto Kalouptsidi & Theodore Papageorgiou & Nicola Rosaia, 2020. "Search Frictions and Efficiency in Decentralized Transport Markets," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 1010, Boston College Department of Economics.
    6. Giulia Brancaccio & Myrto Kalouptsidi & Theodore Papageorgiou, 2020. "Geography, Transportation, and Endogenous Trade Costs," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 88(2), pages 657-691, March.
    7. Patrick Bajari & C. Lanier Benkard, 2005. "Demand Estimation with Heterogeneous Consumers and Unobserved Product Characteristics: A Hedonic Approach," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(6), pages 1239-1276, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Eliza Forsythe & Lisa B. Kahn & Fabian Lange & David G. Wiczer, 2020. "Searching, Recalls, and Tightness: An Interim Report on the COVID Labor Market," NBER Working Papers 28083, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    matching function; unemployment; hires;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • J63 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Turnover; Vacancies; Layoffs
    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search

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