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Loss of Skill and Labor Market Fluctuations

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  • Etienne Lalé

Abstract

In this paper, we examine how skill loss can contribute to aggregate labor market fluctuations in the Diamond-Mortensen-Pissarides model. We develop a computationally tractable stochastic version of that model wherein workers accumulate skills on the job and face a risk of skill loss after job destruction. We find that skill heterogeneity dampens the fluctuations of labor market variables, and that introducing skill loss offsets this effect and generates additional amplification. The main forces driving this result are pro-cyclical increases in the probability of skill loss during unemployment: these provide incentives to post proportionally more vacancies during upturns by raising the surplus from employing high-skill workers. Compositional changes in the unemployment pool, on the other hand, play a negligible role for empirically plausible rates of skill depreciation, which imply a relatively slow process compared to the duration of unemployment spell.

Suggested Citation

  • Etienne Lalé, 2015. "Loss of Skill and Labor Market Fluctuations," Bristol Economics Discussion Papers 15/668, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK, revised 18 Jan 2017.
  • Handle: RePEc:bri:uobdis:15/668
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    File URL: http://www.efm.bris.ac.uk/economics/working_papers/pdffiles/dp16668.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Marcus Hagedorn & Iourii Manovskii, 2008. "The Cyclical Behavior of Equilibrium Unemployment and Vacancies Revisited," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(4), pages 1692-1706, September.
    2. Mark Bils & Yongsung Chang & Sun-Bin Kim, 2011. "Worker Heterogeneity and Endogenous Separations in a Matching Model of Unemployment Fluctuations," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(1), pages 128-154, January.
    3. Jesper Bagger & Fran?ois Fontaine & Fabien Postel-Vinay & Jean-Marc Robin, 2014. "Tenure, Experience, Human Capital, and Wages: A Tractable Equilibrium Search Model of Wage Dynamics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(6), pages 1551-1596, June.
    4. Chassamboulli, Andri, 2013. "Labor-market volatility in a matching model with worker heterogeneity and endogenous separations," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(C), pages 217-229.
    5. Petrosky-Nadeau, Nicolas & Wasmer, Etienne, 2015. "Macroeconomic dynamics in a model of goods, labor, and credit market frictions," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(C), pages 97-113.
    6. Etienne Wasmer, 2006. "General versus Specific Skills in Labor Markets with Search Frictions and Firing Costs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(3), pages 811-831, June.
    7. Costain, James S. & Reiter, Michael, 2008. "Business cycles, unemployment insurance, and the calibration of matching models," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 32(4), pages 1120-1155, April.
    8. Petrosky-Nadeau, Nicolas & Wasmer, Etienne, 2015. "Macroeconomic dynamics in a model of goods, labor, and credit market frictions," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(C), pages 97-113.
    9. Michael Pries, 2008. "Worker Heterogeneity and Labor Market Volatility in Matching Models," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 11(3), pages 664-678, July.
    10. Vincent Sterk, 2016. "The Dark Corners of the Labor Market," Discussion Papers 1603, Centre for Macroeconomics (CFM).
    11. Ljungqvist, Lars & Sargent, Thomas J., 2007. "Understanding European unemployment with matching and search-island models," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(8), pages 2139-2179, November.
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    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Loss of Skill and Labor Market Fluctuations
      by Christian Zimmermann in NEP-DGE blog on 2015-12-09 20:52:10

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Diamond-Mortensen-Pissarides model; Labor market volatility; Skill loss;

    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
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • 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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