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Turbulence and Unemployment in a Job Matching Model

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  • Den Haan, Wouter
  • Haefke, Christian
  • Ramey, Gary

Abstract

According to Ljungqvist and Sargent (1998), high European unemployment since the 1980s can be explained by a rise in economic turbulence, leading to greater numbers of unemployed workers with obsolete skills. These workers refuse new jobs due to high unemployment benefits. In this Paper we reassess the turbulence unemployment relationship using a matching model with endogenous job destruction. In our model, higher turbulence reduces the incentives of employed workers to leave their jobs. If turbulence has only a tiny effect on the skills of workers experiencing endogenous separation, then the results of Ljungqvist and Sargent (1998, 2004) are reversed, and higher turbulence leads to a reduction in unemployment. Thus, changes in turbulence cannot provide an explanation for European unemployment that reconciles the incentives of both unemployed and employed workers.

Suggested Citation

  • Den Haan, Wouter & Haefke, Christian & Ramey, Gary, 2004. "Turbulence and Unemployment in a Job Matching Model," CEPR Discussion Papers 4765, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:4765
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    european unemployment puzzle; skill loss;

    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
    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search

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