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Unemployment, Participation and Worker Flows Over the Life Cycle

  • Sekyu Choi
  • Alexandre Janiak
  • Benjamín Villena-Roldán

    ()

We estimate and report life cycle transition probabilities between employment, unemployment and inactivity for male workers using Current Population Survey monthly files. We assess the relative importance of each probability in explaining the life cycle profiles of participation and unemployment rates using a novel decomposition method. A key robust finding is that most differences in participation and unemployment over the life cycle can be attributed to the probability of leaving employment and the probability of transiting from inactivity to unemployment, while transitions from unemployment to employment (the job finding probability) play secondary roles. We then show that a simple life cycle extension of a three-state labor search model with leisure shocks can qualitatively replicate the empirical unemployment and participation life cycle profiles, without introducing age or worker heterogeneity in market abilities. We conclude that models that seek to explain life cycle work patterns should not ignore transitions to and from inactivity. JEL Codes: D91, E24, J64.

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File URL: http://www.dii.uchile.cl/~cea/sitedev/cea/www/download.php?file=documentos_trabajo/ASOCFILE120110307103429.pdf
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Paper provided by Centro de Economía Aplicada, Universidad de Chile in its series Documentos de Trabajo with number 278.

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Date of creation: 2011
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Handle: RePEc:edj:ceauch:278
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.dii.uchile.cl/cea/

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  1. Ludo Visschers & Irina A. Telyukova & Guido Menzio, 2010. "Directed Search over the Life Cycle," 2010 Meeting Papers 185, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  2. Krusell, Per & Mukoyama, Toshihiko & Rogerson, Richard & Sahin, Aysegül, 2008. "Aggregate implications of indivisible labor, incomplete markets, and labor market frictions," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(5), pages 961-979, July.
  3. Morten O. Ravn, 2006. "The Consumption-Tightness Puzzle," NBER Working Papers 12421, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Pietro Garibaldi & Etienne Wasmer, 2005. "Equilibrium Search Unemployment, Endogenous Participation and Labor Market Flows," Post-Print hal-01020784, HAL.
  5. Gary Hansen & Selahattin Imrohoroglu, 2008. "Consumption over the Life Cycle: The Role of Annuities," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 11(3), pages 566-583, July.
  6. Chéron, Arnaud & Hairault, Jean-Olivier & Langot, François, 2011. "Life Cycle Equilibrium Unemployment," CEPREMAP Working Papers (Docweb) 1103, CEPREMAP.
  7. Gary Solon & Ryan Michaels & Michael W. L. Elsby, 2009. "The Ins and Outs of Cyclical Unemployment," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 1(1), pages 84-110, January.
  8. Shigeru Fujita & Garey Ramey, 2007. "The cyclicality of separation and job finding rates," Working Papers 07-19, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  9. Fernando Alvarez & Marcelo Veracierto, 2000. "Labor-Market Policies in an Equilibrium Search Model," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1999, Volume 14, pages 265-316 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Veracierto, Marcelo, 2008. "On the cyclical behavior of employment, unemployment and labor force participation," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(6), pages 1143-1157, September.
  11. Alexandre Janiak & Paulo Santos Monteiro, 2010. "Labor force heterogeneity: implications for the relation between aggregate volatility and government size," Documentos de Trabajo 272, Centro de Economía Aplicada, Universidad de Chile.
  12. Jean-Olivier Hairault & Francois Langot & Thepthida Sopraseuth, 2010. "Distance to Retirement and Older Workers' Employment: The Case for Delaying the Retirement Age," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 8(5), pages 1034-1076, 09.
  13. Abowd, John M & Zellner, Arnold, 1985. "Estimating Gross Labor-Force Flows," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 3(3), pages 254-83, June.
  14. Pries, Michael & Rogerson, Richard, 2009. "Search frictions and labor market participation," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 53(5), pages 568-587, July.
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