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The Shimer Puzzle and the Correct Identification of Productivity Shocks

  • Régis Barnichon

Shimer (2005a) claims that the Mortensen-Pissarides search model of unemployment lacks an ampiflication mechanism because it cannot generate the observed business cycle fluctuations in unemployment given labor productivity shocks of plausible magnitude. This paper argues that part of the problem lies with the correct identification of productivity shocks. Because of the endogeneity of measured labor productivity, filtering out the trend component as in Shimer (2005a) may not correctly identify the shocks driving unemployment. Using a New- Keynesian framework with search unemployment, this paper estimates that close to 50% of the Shimer puzzle is due to the misidentification of productivity shocks. In addition, I show that extending the search model with an aggregate demand side remarkably improves the ability of the standard search model to match the moments of key labor market variables.

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Paper provided by Centre for Economic Performance, LSE in its series CEP Discussion Papers with number dp0823.

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Date of creation: Aug 2007
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Handle: RePEc:cep:cepdps:dp0823
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://cep.lse.ac.uk/_new/publications/series.asp?prog=CEP

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  1. Dale T. Mortensen & Eva Nagypal, 2005. "More on Unemployment and Vacancy Fluctuations," NBER Working Papers 11692, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Marcus Hagedorn & Iourii Manovskii, 2005. "The Cyclical Behavior of Equilibrium Unemployment and Vacancies Revisited," 2005 Meeting Papers 460, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  3. Ch. Pissarides., 2011. "The Unemployment Volatility Puzzle: Is Wage Stickiness the Answer?," VOPROSY ECONOMIKI, N.P. Redaktsiya zhurnala "Voprosy Economiki", vol. 1.
  4. Robert Shimer, 2005. "The cyclicality of hires, separations, and job-to-job transitions," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Jul, pages 493-508.
  5. Dale T. Mortensen & Christopher A. Pissarides, 1994. "Job Creation and Job Destruction in the Theory of Unemployment," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 61(3), pages 397-415.
  6. Robert Shimer, 2005. "The Cyclical Behavior of Equilibrium Unemployment and Vacancies," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 25-49, March.
  7. Robert E. Hall, 2005. "Job Loss, Job Finding, and Unemployment in the U.S. Economy Over the Past Fifty Years," NBER Working Papers 11678, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Shigeru Fugita & Garey Ramey, 2006. "Job matching and propagation," Working Papers 06-13, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  9. Robert E. Hall, 2005. "Employment Fluctuations with Equilibrium Wage Stickiness," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 50-65, March.
  10. Regis Barnichon, 2007. "Productivity, aggregate demand and unemployment fluctuations," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 19694, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
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