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The Replacement Problem in Frictional Economies: An 'Equivalence Result'

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  • Hornstein, Andreas
  • Krusell, Per
  • Violante, Giovanni L

Abstract

We examine how technological change affects wage inequality and unemployment in a calibrated model of matching frictions in the labour market. We distinguish between two polar cases studied in the literature: a ‘creative destruction’ economy where new machines enter chiefly through new matches, and an ‘upgrading’ economy where machines in existing matches are replaced by new machines. Our main results are: (i) these two economies produce very similar quantitative outcomes, and (ii) the total amount of wage inequality generated by frictions is very small. We explain these findings in light of the fact that, in the model calibrated to the US economy, both unemployment and vacancy durations are very short, i.e., the matching frictions are quantitatively minor. Hence, the equilibrium allocations of the model are remarkably close to those of a frictionless version of our economy where firms are indifferent between upgrading and creative destruction, and where every worker is paid the same market-clearing wage. These results are robust to extensions of the benchmark model that incorporate machine-specific and match-specific heterogeneity.

Suggested Citation

  • Hornstein, Andreas & Krusell, Per & Violante, Giovanni L, 2005. "The Replacement Problem in Frictional Economies: An 'Equivalence Result'," CEPR Discussion Papers 5026, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:5026
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Canova, Fabio & Lopez-Salido, Jose David & Michelacci, Claudio, 2007. "The Labour Market Effects of Technology Shocks," CEPR Discussion Papers 6365, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. Fabio Canova & David Lopez-Salido & Claudio Michelacci, 2009. "The ins and outs of unemployment: An analysis conditional on technology shocks," Economics Working Papers 1213, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Jan 2012.
    3. Andreas Hornstein & Per Krusell & Giovanni L. Violante, 2007. "Technology—Policy Interaction in Frictional Labour-Markets," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 74(4), pages 1089-1124.
    4. Fabio Canova & David Lopez-Salido & Claudio Michelacci, 2006. "Schumpeterian technology shocks," Economics Working Papers 1012, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Nov 2007.
    5. repec:eee:eecrev:v:103:y:2018:i:c:p:150-172 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Hairault, Jean-Olivier & Zhutova, Anastasia, 2018. "The cyclicality of labor-market flows: A multiple-shock approach," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 103(C), pages 150-172.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    creative destruction; inequality; technical change; unemployment; upgrading;

    JEL classification:

    • J41 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Labor Contracts
    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes

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