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The Welfare Costs of Skill-Mismatch Employment




Skill-mismatch employment occurs when high-skilled individuals accept employment in jobs for which they are over-qualified. These employment relationships can be beneficial because they allow high-skilled individuals to more rapidly transition out of unemployment. They come at the cost, however, in the form of lower wage compensation. Moreover, an externality arises as high-skilled individuals do not take into account the effect that their search activity in the market for low-tech jobs has on low-skilled individuals. This paper presents a tractable general equilibrium model featuring mismatch employment and on-the-job search to articulate these tradeoffs. We derive a set of efficiency conditions that describe the labor market distortions associated with these two model features and illustrate how they alter the standard notion of the labor wedges inherent in general equilibrium search models. Finally, we calibrate the model to U.S. data and show that the distortions associated with mismatch employment are largely distributional and can be quantitatively large.

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  • Arseneau, David M. & Epstein, Brendan, 2014. "The Welfare Costs of Skill-Mismatch Employment," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2014-42, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgfe:2014-42

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Christopher A. Pissarides, 2000. "Equilibrium Unemployment Theory, 2nd Edition," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262161877, January.
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    4. Mortensen, Dale & Pissarides, Christopher, 2011. "Job Creation and Job Destruction in the Theory of Unemployment," Economic Policy, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration, vol. 1, pages 1-19.
    5. JuanJ. Dolado & Marcel Jansen & JuanF. Jimeno, 2009. "On-the-Job Search in a Matching Model with Heterogeneous Jobs and Workers," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 119(534), pages 200-228, January.
    6. 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.
    7. Christopher A. Pissarides, 1994. "Search Unemployment with On-the-job Search," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 61(3), pages 457-475.
    8. 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.
    9. McLaughlin, Kenneth J & Bils, Mark, 2001. "Interindustry Mobility and the Cyclical Upgrading of Labor," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 19(1), pages 94-135, January.
    10. Shimer, Robert, 2006. "On-the-job search and strategic bargaining," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 50(4), pages 811-830, May.
    11. Gautier, Pieter A, 2002. "Unemployment and Search Externalities in a Model with Heterogeneous Jobs and Workers," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 69(273), pages 21-40, February.
    12. Marcello M. Estevão & Evridiki Tsounta, 2011. "Has the Great Recession Raised U.S. Structural Unemployment?," IMF Working Papers 11/105, International Monetary Fund.
    13. Robert Shimer, 2005. "The Cyclical Behavior of Equilibrium Unemployment and Vacancies," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 25-49, March.
    14. 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.
    15. 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.
    16. Arthur J. Hosios, 1990. "On The Efficiency of Matching and Related Models of Search and Unemployment," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 57(2), pages 279-298.
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    Cited by:

    1. Arseneau, David M. & Epstein, Brendan, 2014. "Offshoring, Mismatch, and Labor Market Outcomes," International Finance Discussion Papers 1118, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    2. repec:eee:deveco:v:127:y:2017:i:c:p:25-41 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Epstein, Brendan & Finkelstein Shapiro, Alan, 2017. "Employment and firm heterogeneity, capital allocation, and countercyclical labor market policies," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 127(C), pages 25-41.

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    Job-to-job transitions; labor market frictions; skill premium;

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