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Diagnosing labor market search models: a multiple-shock approach

  • Kenneth Beauchemin
  • Murat Tasci

This paper constructs a multiple-shock version of the Mortensen-Pissarides labor market search model to investigate the basic model’s well-known tendency to under predict the volatility of key labor market variables. Data on U.S. job finding and job separation probabilities are used to help estimate the parameters of a three-dimensional shock process comprising labor productivity, job separation, and matching or ‘allocative’ efficiency. The authors show that the Mortensen-Pissarides labor market search model requires significantly procyclical and volatile job separations to simultaneously account for high procyclical variations in jobfinding probabilities as well as relatively small net employment changes. Hence, the model is more fundamentally flawed than its inability to amplify shocks would suggest. This leads the authors to conclude that the model lacks mechanisms to generate procyclical matching efficiency and labor force reallocation. As for the latter, the authors conjecture that nontrivial labor force participation and job-to-job transitions are promising avenues of research. ; This paper has been revised as WP 08-13, with the same title.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland in its series Working Paper with number 0720.

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Date of creation: 2007
Date of revision: 30 Dec 2007
Handle: RePEc:fip:fedcwp:0720
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  1. Murat Tasci, 2006. "On-the-Job Search and Labor Market Reallocation," 2006 Meeting Papers 333, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  2. Robert E. Hall, 2005. "Employment Fluctuations with Equilibrium Wage Stickiness," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 50-65, March.
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  8. Christopher A. Pissarides, 2000. "Equilibrium Unemployment Theory, 2nd Edition," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262161877, August.
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  18. Wouter J. den Haan & Garey Ramey & Joel Watson, 1997. "Job Destruction and Propagation of Shocks," NBER Working Papers 6275, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Robert Shimer, 2004. "The Consequences of Rigid Wages in Search Models," NBER Working Papers 10326, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. James S. Costain & Michael Reiter, 2003. "Business Cycles, Unemployment Insurance, and the Calibration of Matching Models," CESifo Working Paper Series 1008, CESifo Group Munich.
  21. Kenneth Beauchemin & Murat Tasci, 2007. "Diagnosing labor market search models: a multiple-shock approach," Working Paper 0720, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, revised 30 Dec 2007.
  22. Garey Ramey, 2008. "Exogenous vs. Endogenous Separation," 2008 Meeting Papers 466, Society for Economic Dynamics.
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  25. Giovanni L. Violante & Per Krusell & Andreas Hornstein, 2006. "Frictional wage dispersion in search models: a quantitative assessment," Working Paper 06-07, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
  26. Steven J. Davis & John C. Haltiwanger & Scott Schuh, 1998. "Job Creation and Destruction," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262540932, August.
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  30. Bruce Fallick & Charles A. Fleischman, 2004. "Employer-to-employer flows in the U.S. labor market: the complete picture of gross worker flows," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2004-34, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
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  34. Regis Barnichon & Andrew Figura, 2010. "What drives movements in the unemployment rate? a decomposition of the Beveridge curve," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2010-48, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  35. Krause, Michael U. & Lubik, Thomas A., 2006. "The cyclical upgrading of labor and on-the-job search," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(4), pages 459-477, August.
  36. Barnichon, Regis, 2010. "Building a composite Help-Wanted Index," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 109(3), pages 175-178, December.
  37. Marcelo Veracierto, 2011. "Worker flows and matching efficiency," Economic Perspectives, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, issue Q IV, pages 147-169.
  38. Ramey, Garey, 2008. "Exogenous vs. Endogenous Separation," University of California at San Diego, Economics Working Paper Series qt0qb196qd, Department of Economics, UC San Diego.
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