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Towards a Non-Equilibrium Unemployment Theory

  • Matteo Richiardi

This paper presents a non-equilibrium, agent-based model of workers and firms, with on-the-job searching, endogenous entrepreneurial decisions and endogenous wage and income determination. Workers and firms are heterogeneous, and learn their strategy in the labor market. The model is able to reproduce a number of stylized facts generally accepted in labor economics and industrial organization, such as the Wage, Beveridge and Okun curve, and the skewness of wage, income and firm size distribution. Most interestingly, important stylized facts such as a negatively sloped Wage Curve and a constant returns to scale matching function emerge only out-of-equilibrium, during the adjustment processes toward the stationary state. The results stress three points. First, the use of non-equilibrium computational models allows for a more comprehensive investigation of the labor market, by considering the endogenous character of many relevant variables. Second, it may be the case that (some) of the stylized facts upon which many equilibrium models have been built may be just out-of-equilibrium properties of the real economies. Third, the joint determination of all aggregate relationships and their dependence on the equilibrium or non-equilibrium state of the system suggest to move from the investigation of empirical regularities in isolation one from the other to a joint analysis.

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Paper provided by LABORatorio R. Revelli, Centre for Employment Studies in its series LABORatorio R. Revelli Working Papers Series with number 37.

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Length: 28 pages
Date of creation: 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cca:wplabo:37
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  1. David Card, 1995. "The Wage Curve: A Review," Working Papers 722, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  2. Domenico Delli Gatti & Corrado Di Guilmi & Edoardo Gaffeo & Gianfranco Giulioni & Mauro Gallegati & Antonio Palestrini, 2004. "Business Cycle Fluctuations And Firms' Size Distribution Dynamics," Advances in Complex Systems (ACS), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 7(02), pages 223-240.
  3. Leigh Tesfatsion, 2006. "Agent-Based Computational Economics: A Constructive Approach to Economic Theory," Computing in Economics and Finance 2006 527, Society for Computational Economics.
  4. Clifford L. F. Attfield & Brian Silverstone, 1997. "Okun's Coefficient: A Comment," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 79(2), pages 326-329, May.
  5. Barbara Petrongolo & Christopher Pissarides, 2000. "Looking into the black box: a survey of the matching function," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 2122, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  6. Anthony E. Smith & Yves Zenou, 2003. "A Discrete-Time Stochastic Model of Job Matching," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 6(1), pages 54-79, January.
  7. Matteo Richiardi, 2003. "A Search Model of Unemployment and Firm Dynamics," LABORatorio R. Revelli Working Papers Series 30, LABORatorio R. Revelli, Centre for Employment Studies.
  8. Mortensen, Dale & Pissarides, Christopher, 2011. "Job Creation and Job Destruction in the Theory of Unemployment," Economic Policy, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration, vol. 1, pages 19 pages.
  9. Blanchflower, D. & Oswald, A., 1989. "The Wage Curve," Papers 340, London School of Economics - Centre for Labour Economics.
  10. Diamond, Peter A., 1971. "A model of price adjustment," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 3(2), pages 156-168, June.
  11. Brian Bell & Stephen Nickell & Glenda Quintini, 2000. "Wage equations, wage curves and all that," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 20165, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  12. George J. Stigler, 1961. "The Economics of Information," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 69, pages 213.
  13. Tesfatsion, Leigh & Judd, Kenneth L., 2006. "Handbook of Computational Economics, Vol. 2: Agent-Based Computational Economics," Staff General Research Papers Archive 10368, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
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  15. Philippe Aghion & Peter Howitt, 1994. "Growth and Unemployment," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 61(3), pages 477-494.
  16. Ricardo Lagos, 2000. "An Alternative Approach to Search Frictions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(5), pages 851-873, October.
  17. P. Diamond, 1980. "Aggregate Demand Management in Search Equilibrium," Working papers 268, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  18. David Card, 1995. "The Wage Curve: A Review," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 33(2), pages 285-299, June.
  19. Leombruni, Roberto & Richiardi, Matteo, 2005. "Why are economists sceptical about agent-based simulations?," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 355(1), pages 103-109.
  20. James W. Albrecht & Pieter A. Gautier & Susan B. Vroman, 2001. "Matching with Multiple Applications," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 01-080/3, Tinbergen Institute.
  21. Mortensen, Dale T & Pissarides, Christopher, 1999. "New Developments in Models of Search in the Labour Market," CEPR Discussion Papers 2053, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  22. Ricardo J. Caballero & Mohamad L. Hammour, 1991. "The Cleansing Effect of Recessions," NBER Working Papers 3922, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  23. Gaffeo, Edoardo & Gallegati, Mauro & Palestrini, Antonio, 2003. "On the size distribution of firms: additional evidence from the G7 countries," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 324(1), pages 117-123.
  24. repec:spr:pharme:v:22:y:2004:i:4:p:225-244 is not listed on IDEAS
  25. Kenneth Burdett & Shouyong Shi & Randall Wright, 2001. "Pricing and Matching with Frictions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 109(5), pages 1060-1085, October.
  26. Peter A. Diamond, 1982. "Wage Determination and Efficiency in Search Equilibrium," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 49(2), pages 217-227.
  27. Okuyama, K & Takayasu, M & Takayasu, H, 1999. "Zipf's law in income distribution of companies," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 269(1), pages 125-131.
  28. Jovanovic, Boyan, 1979. "Job Matching and the Theory of Turnover," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(5), pages 972-90, October.
  29. repec:fth:prinin:343 is not listed on IDEAS
  30. Fonseca, Raquel & Lopez-Garcia, Paloma & Pissarides, Christopher A., 2001. "Entrepreneurship, start-up costs and employment," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(4-6), pages 692-705, May.
  31. Prachowny, Martin F J, 1993. "Okun's Law: Theoretical Foundations and Revised Estimates," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 75(2), pages 331-36, May.
  32. Pissarides, C A, 1984. "Efficient Job Rejection," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 94(376a), pages 97-108, Supplemen.
  33. Pissarides, Christopher A, 1984. "Search Intensity, Job Advertising, and Efficiency," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 2(1), pages 128-43, January.
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