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Big Locational Differences in Unemployment Despite High Labor Mobility

Considerable labor mobility exists across U.S. states, enough that, if migration arbitrages local unemployment, one might expect very low unemployment differences across states. However, cross-state data reveal large unemployment differences. An equilibrium multi-location model with stochastic worker-location match productivity and within-location trading frictions can account for these facts. In the model, some workers move to, or stay in, a location with high unemployment because they are more productive there than elsewhere. According to the model, labor mobility and aggregate unemployment are negatively related. This prediction is in stark contrast to standard sectoral reallocation theory, but consistent with the U.S. data.

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Paper provided by Concordia University, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 12002.

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Length: 56 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2005
Date of revision: Feb 2012
Handle: RePEc:crd:wpaper:12002
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  1. Mortensen, Dale T. & Nagypál, Éva, 2005. "More on Unemployment and Vacancy Fluctuations," IZA Discussion Papers 1765, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Gordon Dahl, 1997. "Mobility and the Returns to Education: Testing A Roy Model With Multiple Markets," Working Papers 760, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  3. Abraham, Katharine G. & Katz, Lawrence F., 1986. "Cyclical Unemployment: Sectoral Shifts or Aggregate Disturbances?," Scholarly Articles 3442781, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  4. Marcus Hagedorn & Iourii Manovskii, 2005. "The Cyclical Behavior of Equilibrium Unemployment and Vacancies Revisited," 2005 Meeting Papers 460, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  5. Daniele Coen-Pirani, . "Understanding Gross Workers Flows Across U.S. States," GSIA Working Papers 2006-E68, Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business.
  6. Kambourov, Gueorgui & Manovskii, Iourii, 2004. "Occupational Mobility and Wage Inequality," IZA Discussion Papers 1189, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. Paul Bauer & Yoonsoo Lee, 2005. "Labor productivity growth across states," Economic Commentary, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, issue Jun.
  8. Fatih Guvenen, 2007. "An empirical investigation of labor income processes," IFS Working Papers W07/13, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  9. Andolfatto, David & Gomme, Paul, 1996. "Unemployment insurance and labor-market activity in Canada," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 47-82, June.
  10. Moscarini, Giuseppe & Vella, Francis, 2008. "Occupational Mobility and the Business Cycle," IZA Discussion Papers 3369, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  11. Damba Lkhagvasuren & Ragchaasuren Galindev, 2008. "Discretization of Highly-Persistent Correlated AR(1) Shocks," Working Papers 08012, Concordia University, Department of Economics, revised Nov 2008.
  12. Richard Rogerson & Lodewijk P. Visschers & Randall Wright, 2009. "Labor market fluctuations in the small and in the large," International Journal of Economic Theory, The International Society for Economic Theory, vol. 5(1), pages 125-137.
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