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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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  3. Blanchflower, D. & Oswald, A., 1989. "The Wage Curve," Papers 340, London School of Economics - Centre for Labour Economics.
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  8. Mortensen, Dale T. & Pissarides, Christopher A., 1999. "New developments in models of search in the labor market," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 39, pages 2567-2627 Elsevier.
  9. Tesfatsion, Leigh & Judd, Kenneth L., 2006. "Handbook of Computational Economics, Vol. 2: Agent-Based Computational Economics," Staff General Research Papers 10368, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  10. 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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  12. Barbara Petrongolo & Christopher A. Pissarides, 2000. "Looking Into the Black Box: A Survey of the Matching Function," CEP Discussion Papers dp0470, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  13. 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.
  14. Mortensen, Dale T & Pissarides, Christopher A, 1994. "Job Creation and Job Destruction in the Theory of Unemployment," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 61(3), pages 397-415, July.
  15. Matteo Richiardi, 2004. "A Search Model Of Unemployment And Firm Dynamics," Advances in Complex Systems (ACS), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 7(02), pages 203-221.
  16. 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.
  17. George J. Stigler, 1961. "The Economics of Information," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 69, pages 213.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. Diamond, Peter A, 1982. "Wage Determination and Efficiency in Search Equilibrium," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 49(2), pages 217-27, April.
  23. Albrecht, James W. & Gautier, Pieter A. & Vroman, Susan B., 2003. "Matching with multiple applications," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 78(1), pages 67-70, January.
  24. Diamond, Peter A., 1971. "A model of price adjustment," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 3(2), pages 156-168, June.
  25. David Card, 1995. "The Wage Curve: A Review," Working Papers 722, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  26. 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.
  27. 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.
  28. Aghion, Philippe & Howitt, Peter, 1991. "Growth and Unemployment," CEPR Discussion Papers 577, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  29. Manishi Prasad & Peter Wahlqvist & Rich Shikiar & Ya-Chen Tina Shih, 2004. "A," PharmacoEconomics, Springer Healthcare | Adis, vol. 22(4), pages 225-244.
  30. 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.
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