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Biased Technological Shocks, Wage Rigidities and Low-Skilled Unemployment

  • Olivier Pierrard
  • Henri Sneessens

The contrast between the evolution over the last decades of the EU and the US unemployment rates, especially for the low-skilled, is well known. A consensus view is that these different outcomes can be explained by the interactions between common shocks and specific institutional setups. In this paper, we emphasise the interactions between technological changes and wages ridigities. We construct a fully calibrated general equilibrium model with two types of jobs and two types of workers, and with search unemployment. Our simulations show that with wages rigidities, technological changes suffice to generate a continuous rise in the low-skilled unemployment rate and an almost unchanged high-skilled unemployment rate. Without wage rigidities, the unemployment rates remain unchanged but the wage dispersion widens.

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Paper provided by Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department in its series DNB Working Papers with number 020.

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Date of creation: Dec 2004
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Handle: RePEc:dnb:dnbwpp:020
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  1. Christian Haefke, 2001. "Shocks and institutions in a job matching model," Economics Working Papers 568, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Aug 2001.
  2. Giuseppe Bertola & Francine D. Blau & Lawrence M. Kahn, 2001. "Comparative Analysis of Labor Market Outcomes: Lessons for the US from International Long-Run Evidence," NBER Working Papers 8526, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Hartog, Joop, 2000. "Over-education and earnings: where are we, where should we go?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 131-147, April.
  4. Stephen Nickell, 1997. "Unemployment and Labor Market Rigidities: Europe versus North America," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(3), pages 55-74, Summer.
  5. Hosios, Arthur J, 1990. "On the Efficiency of Matching and Related Models of Search and Unemployment," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 57(2), pages 279-98, April.
  6. Berman, Eli & Bound, John & Machin, Stephen, 1997. "Implications of Skill-Biased Technological Change: International Evidence," Working Paper Series 486, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
  7. James Albrecht & Susan Vroman, 2002. "A Matching Model with Endogenous Skill Requirements," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 43(1), pages 283-305, February.
  8. Merz, Monika, 1995. "Search in the labor market and the real business cycle," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 269-300, November.
  9. Manacorda, Marco & Petrongolo, Barbara, 1999. "Skill Mismatch and Unemployment in OECD Countries," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 66(262), pages 181-207, May.
  10. Blanchard, Olivier & Wolfers, Justin, 2000. "The Role of Shocks and Institutions in the Rise of European Unemployment: The Aggregate Evidence," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(462), pages C1-33, March.
  11. Dolado, Juan J. & Felgueroso, Florentino & Jimeno, Juan F., 2000. "Youth labour markets in Spain: Education, training, and crowding-out," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 44(4-6), pages 943-956, May.
  12. Bruno Decreuse, 2008. "Choosy Search And The Mismatch Of Talents," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 49(3), pages 1067-1089, 08.
  13. Stephen Machin & John Van Reenen, 1998. "Technology and changes in skill structure: evidence from seven OECD countries," IFS Working Papers W98/04, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  14. David Autor & Lawrence Katz & Alan Krueger, 1997. "Computing Inequality: Have Computers Changed the Labor Market?," Working Papers 756, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  15. Cockx, Bart & Dejemeppe, Muriel, 2002. "Do the Higher Educated Unemployed Crowd Out the Lower Educated Ones in a Competition for Jobs?," IZA Discussion Papers 541, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  16. Lars Ljungqvist & Thomas J. Sargent, 2004. "European Unemployment and Turbulence Revisited in a Matching Model," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 2(2-3), pages 456-468, 04/05.
  17. Blázquez Cuesta, Maite & Jansen, Marcel, 2003. "Efficiency in a Matching Model with Heterogeneous Agents: Too Many Good or Bad Jobs?," IZA Discussion Papers 968, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  18. Andolfatto, David, 1996. "Business Cycles and Labor-Market Search," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(1), pages 112-32, March.
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