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Vacancy posting, job separation and unemployment fluctuations

Listed author(s):
  • 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
Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgfe:2009-35
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  1. Michael W. Elsby & Ryan Michaels & Gary Solon, 2007. "The Ins and Outs of Cyclical Unemployment," NBER Working Papers 12853, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Michael Elsby & Bart Hobijn & Aysegul Sahin, 2008. "Unemployment Dynamics in the OECD," NBER Working Papers 14617, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Olivier Blanchard & Jordi Galí, 2006. "Labor markets and monetary policy: A new-Keynesian model with unemployement," Economics Working Papers 1076, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Mar 2008.
  4. Sichel, Daniel E, 1993. "Business Cycle Asymmetry: A Deeper Look," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 31(2), pages 224-236, April.
  5. Christopher A. Pissarides & Barbara Petrongolo, 2001. "Looking into the Black Box: A Survey of the Matching Function," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 39(2), pages 390-431, June.
  6. 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.
  7. Robert Shimer, 2012. "Reassessing the Ins and Outs of Unemployment," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 15(2), pages 127-148, April.
  8. Robert Shimer, 2005. "The Cyclical Behavior of Equilibrium Unemployment and Vacancies," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 25-49, March.
  9. Mark Gertler & Antonella Trigari, 2006. "Unemployment Fluctuations With Staggered Nash Wage Bargaining," NBER Working Papers 12498, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Steven J. Davis & R. Jason Faberman & John Haltiwanger, 2009. "The establishment-level behavior of vacancies and hiring," Working Papers 09-14, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  11. Dale T. Mortensen & Christopher A. Pissarides, 1993. "Job Creation and Job Destruction in the Theory of Unemployment," CEP Discussion Papers dp0110, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  12. Bruce C. 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.).
  13. Barbara Petrongolo & Christopher A. Pissarides, 2008. "The Ins and Outs of European Unemployment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(2), pages 256-262, May.
  14. Barnichon, Regis, 2010. "Building a composite Help-Wanted Index," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 109(3), pages 175-178, December.
  15. Shigeru Fujita & Garey Ramey, 2007. "The cyclicality of separation and job finding rates," Working Papers 07-19, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  16. Hoyt Bleakley & Ann E. Ferris & Jeffrey C. Fuhrer, 1999. "New data on worker flows during business cycles," New England Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, issue Jul, pages 49-76.
  17. Alisdair McKay & Ricardo Reis, 2006. "The Brevity and Violence of Contractions and Expansions," NBER Working Papers 12400, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Robert E. Hall, 2005. "Employment Efficiency and Sticky Wages: Evidence from Flows in the Labor Market," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 87(3), pages 397-407, August.
  19. 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, December.
  20. Fujita, Shigeru & Ramey, Garey, 2007. "Job matching and propagation," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 31(11), pages 3671-3698, November.
  21. Neftci, Salih N, 1984. "Are Economic Time Series Asymmetric over the Business Cycle?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 92(2), pages 307-328, April.
  22. Gerhard Bry & Charlotte Boschan, 1971. "Foreword to "Cyclical Analysis of Time Series: Selected Procedures and Computer Programs"," NBER Chapters, in: Cyclical Analysis of Time Series: Selected Procedures and Computer Programs, pages -1 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  23. Robert E. Hall, 2005. "Employment Fluctuations with Equilibrium Wage Stickiness," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 50-65, March.
  24. Gerhard Bry & Charlotte Boschan, 1971. "Cyclical Analysis of Time Series: Selected Procedures and Computer Programs," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number bry_71-1.
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