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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. 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.
  2. Ljungqvist, Lars & Sargent, Thomas J, 2004. "European Unemployment and Turbulence Revisited in a Matching Model," CEPR Discussion Papers 4183, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. 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.
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  7. Den Haan, Wouter & Haefke, Christian & Ramey, Gary, 2001. "Shocks and Institutions in a Job Matching Model," CEPR Discussion Papers 2970, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Decreuse, Bruno, 2003. "Choosy search and the mismatch of talents," MPRA Paper 3636, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised Feb 2007.
  9. 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.
  10. Bertola, Giuseppe & Blau, Francine D & Kahn, Lawrence, 2001. "Comparative Analysis of Labour Market Outcomes: Lessons for the US from International Long-Run Evidence," CEPR Discussion Papers 3023, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. David H. Autor & Lawrence F. Katz & Alan B. Krueger, 1997. "Computing Inequality: Have Computers Changed the Labor Market?," NBER Working Papers 5956, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. 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).
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. Andolfatto, David, 1996. "Business Cycles and Labor-Market Search," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(1), pages 112-32, March.
  18. Bat COCKX & Muriel DEJEMEPPE, 2002. "Do the Higher Educated Unemployed Crowd out the Lower Educated Ones in a Competition for Jobs ?," Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) 2002020, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
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