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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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File URL: http://cep.lse.ac.uk/pubs/download/dp0823.pdf
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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. Robert Shimer, 2005. "The Cyclical Behavior of Equilibrium Unemployment and Vacancies," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 25-49, March.
  2. Christopher Pissarides, 2007. "The unemployment volatility puzzle: is wage stickiness the answer?," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 4460, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  3. Regis Barnichon, 2008. "Productivity, aggregate demand and unemployment fluctuations," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2008-47, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  4. 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.
  5. Dale Mortensen & Eva Nagypal, 2007. "More on Unemployment and Vacancy Fluctuations," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 10(3), pages 327-347, July.
  6. Dale T. Mortensen & Christopher A. Pissarides, 1993. "Job Creation and Job Destruction in the Theory of Unemployment," CEP Discussion Papers dp0110, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  7. Shigeru Fugita & Garey Ramey, 2006. "Job matching and propagation," Working Papers 06-13, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. Robert E. Hall, 2005. "Employment Fluctuations with Equilibrium Wage Stickiness," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 50-65, March.
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