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Vacancy posting, job separation and unemployment fluctuations

  • Regis Barnichon

This paper studies the relative importance of the two main determinants of cyclical unemployment fluctuations: vacancy posting and job separation. Using a matching function to model the flow of new jobs, I draw on Shimer's (2007) unemployment flow rates decomposition and find that job separation and vacancy posting respectively account for about 40 and 60 percent of unemployment's variance. When considering higher-order moments, I find that job separation contributes to about 60 percent of unemployment steepness asymmetry, a stylized fact of the jobless rate. Finally, while vacancy posting is, on average, the most important contributor of unemployment fluctuations, the opposite is true around business cycle turning points, when job separation is responsible for most of unemployment movements.

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Paper provided by Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.) in its series Finance and Economics Discussion Series with number 2009-35.

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Date of creation: 2009
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgfe:2009-35
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  17. Robert Shimer, 2007. "Reassessing the Ins and Outs of Unemployment," NBER Working Papers 13421, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Michael R. Darby & John C. Haltiwanger & Mark W. Plant, 1986. "The Ins and Outs of Unemployment: The Ins Win," NBER Working Papers 1997, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Olivier Blanchard & Jordi Galí, 2010. "Labor Markets and Monetary Policy: A New Keynesian Model with Unemployment," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(2), pages 1-30, April.
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  21. McKay, Alisdair & Reis, Ricardo, 2008. "The brevity and violence of contractions and expansions," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(4), pages 738-751, May.
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