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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
Handle: RePEc:cca:wplabo:37
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  1. Jovanovic, Boyan, 1979. "Job Matching and the Theory of Turnover," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(5), pages 972-990, October.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
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  11. Tesfatsion, Leigh, 2006. "Agent-Based Computational Economics: A Constructive Approach to Economic Theory," Handbook of Computational Economics, in: Leigh Tesfatsion & Kenneth L. Judd (ed.), Handbook of Computational Economics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 16, pages 831-880 Elsevier.
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  15. 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.
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  17. Pissarides, C A, 1984. "Efficient Job Rejection," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 94(376a), pages 97-108, Supplemen.
  18. Caballero, Ricardo J & Hammour, Mohamad L, 1994. "The Cleansing Effect of Recessions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(5), pages 1350-68, December.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. Ricardo Lagos, 2000. "An Alternative Approach to Search Frictions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(5), pages 851-873, October.
  22. Domenico Delli Gatti & Corrado Di Guilmi & Edoardo Gaffeo & Gianfranco Giulioni & Mauro Gallegati & Antonio Palestrini, 2004. "Business Cycle Fluctuations And Firms’ Size Distribution Dynamics," World Scientific Book Chapters, in: Industry And Labor Dynamics The Agent-Based Computational Economics Approach, chapter 10, pages 199-221 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
  23. James W. Albrecht & Pieter A. Gautier & Susan B. Vroman, 2001. "Matching with Multiple Applications," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 01-080/3, Tinbergen Institute.
  24. 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.
  25. 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.
  26. 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.
  27. 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.
  28. Matteo Richiardi, 2004. "A Search Model Of Unemployment And Firm Dynamics," World Scientific Book Chapters, in: Industry And Labor Dynamics The Agent-Based Computational Economics Approach, chapter 7, pages 107-128 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
  29. 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.
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  33. George J. Stigler, 1961. "The Economics of Information," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 69, pages 213-213.
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