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Do Matching Frictions Explain Unemployment? Not in Bad Times

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  • Pascal Michaillat

Abstract

This paper models unemployment as the result of matching frictions and job rationing. Job rationing is a shortage of jobs arising naturally in an economic equilibrium from the combination of some wage rigidity and diminishing marginal returns to labor. During recessions, job rationing is acute, driving the rise in unemployment, whereas matching frictions contribute little to unemployment. Intuitively, in recessions jobs are lacking, the labor market is slack, recruiting is easy and inexpensive, so matching frictions do not matter much. In a calibrated model, cyclical fluctuations in the composition of unemployment are quantitatively large.

Suggested Citation

  • Pascal Michaillat, 2010. "Do Matching Frictions Explain Unemployment? Not in Bad Times," CEP Discussion Papers dp1024, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  • Handle: RePEc:cep:cepdps:dp1024
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Unemployment; matching frictions; job rationing;

    JEL classification:

    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search

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