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Matching efficiency and labour market heterogeneity in the United Kingdom

Author

Listed:
  • Pizzinelli, Carlo

    () (University of Oxford)

  • Speigner, Bradley

    () (Bank of England)

Abstract

This paper investigates how compositional changes in the UK labour market affect the matching process between vacancies and job seekers. We augment a state space representation of the aggregate matching function with a measure of job seekers’ ‘search intensity’ that is recovered from micro-data on individual unemployment-to-employment transitions, in line with recent developments in the literature. The baseline results show that matching efficiency declined by around 15% between 1995 and 2010 but subsequently recovered by about 5 percentage points in the last six years. Compositional changes in the labour force that improved aggregate search intensity prior to the 2008 recession will tend to obscure the decline in aggregate matching efficiency unless controlled for properly. Considering broader definitions of job seekers that include marginally-attached workers and on-the-job searchers exacerbates the registered decline in matching efficiency. Changes in ‘recruiting intensity’ and the share of vacancies posted by different industries provide a potential explanation for some, but not all, of the initial fall in matching efficiency that preceded the 2007–08 recession. Finally, we quantitatively analyse how labour force heterogeneity and changes in matching efficiency have affected the shape and location of the UK Beveridge Curve.

Suggested Citation

  • Pizzinelli, Carlo & Speigner, Bradley, 2017. "Matching efficiency and labour market heterogeneity in the United Kingdom," Bank of England working papers 667, Bank of England.
  • Handle: RePEc:boe:boeewp:0667
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Gomes, Pedro, 2012. "Labour market flows: Facts from the United Kingdom," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 165-175.
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    3. repec:aea:aecrev:v:108:y:2018:i:8:p:2088-2127 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Regis Barnichon & Andrew Figura, 2015. "Labor Market Heterogeneity and the Aggregate Matching Function," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 7(4), pages 222-249, October.
    5. Christopher A. Pissarides & Barbara Petrongolo, 2001. "Looking into the Black Box: A Survey of the Matching Function," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 39(2), pages 390-431, June.
    6. Michael W. L. Elsby & Jennifer C. Smith & Jonathan Wadsworth, 2011. "The role of worker flows in the dynamics and distribution of UK unemployment," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 27(2), pages 338-363.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Unemployment; labour heterogeneity; matching function; Beveridge Curve;

    JEL classification:

    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search
    • J82 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Standards - - - Labor Force Composition

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