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Aggregate shocks and labor market fluctuations

  • Helge Braun
  • Reinout De Bock
  • Riccardo DiCecio

This paper evaluates the dynamic response of worker flows, job flows, and vacancies to aggregate shocks in a structural vector autoregression. We identify demand, monetary, and technology shocks by imposing sign restrictions on the responses of output, inflation, the interest rate, and the relative price of investment. No restrictions are placed on the responses of job and worker flows variables. We find that both investment-specific and neutral technology shocks generate responses to job and worker flows variables that are qualitatively similar to those induced by monetary and demand shocks. However, technology shocks have more persistent effects. The job finding rate largely drives the response of unemployment, though the separation rate explains up to one third. For job flows, the destruction margin is more important than the creation margin in driving employment growth. Measuring reallocation from job flows, we find that monetary and demand shocks do not have significant effects on cumulative job reallocation, whereas expansionary technology shocks have mildly negative effects. We also estimate shock-specific matching functions. Allowing for a break in 1984:Q1 shows considerable subsample differences in matching elasticities and relative shock-specific efficiency.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis in its series Working Papers with number 2006-004.

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Date of creation: 2006
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedlwp:2006-004
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  1. Petrongolo, Barbara & Pissarides, Christopher, 2000. "Looking Into The Black Box: A Survey Of The Matching Function," CEPR Discussion Papers 2409, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. R. Jason Faberman, 2004. "Gross Job Flows over the Past Two Business Cycles: Not all 'Recoveries' are Created Equal," Working Papers 372, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
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  19. Loungani, Prakash & Rush, Mark & Tave, William, 1990. "Stock market dispersion and unemployment," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 367-388, June.
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