IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Joint-search theory: new opportunities and new frictions

  • Bulent Guler
  • Fatih Guvenen
  • Giovanni L. Violante

Search theory routinely assumes that decisions about the acceptance/rejection of job offers (and, hence, about labor market movements between jobs or across employment states) are made by individuals acting in isolation. In reality, the vast majority of workers are somewhat tied to their partners - in couples and families - and decisions are made jointly. This paper studies, from a theoretical viewpoint, the joint job-search and location problem of a household formed by a couple (e.g., husband and wife) who perfectly pools income. The objective of the exercise, very much in the spirit of standard search theory, is to characterize the reservation wage behavior of the couple and compare it to the single-agent search model in order to understand the ramifications of partnerships for individual labor market outcomes and wage dynamics. We focus on two main cases. First, when couples are risk averse and pool income, joint search yields new opportunities - similar to on-the-job search - relative to the single-agent search. Second, when the two spouses in a couple face job offers from multiple locations and a cost of living apart, joint search features new frictions and can lead to significantly worse outcomes than single-agent search.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis in its series Staff Report with number 426.

in new window

Date of creation: 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:fip:fedmsr:426
Contact details of provider: Postal: 90 Hennepin Avenue, P.O. Box 291, Minneapolis, MN 55480-0291
Phone: (612) 204-5000
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

Order Information: Web: Email:

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Andreas Hornstein & Per Krusell & Giovanni L. Violante, 2011. "Frictional Wage Dispersion in Search Models: A Quantitative Assessment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(7), pages 2873-98, December.
  2. Robert Shimer & Iván Werning, 2005. "Liquidity and insurance for the unemployed," Staff Report 366, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  3. Dora L. Costa & Matthew E. Kahn, 2000. "Power Couples: Changes In The Locational Choice Of The College Educated, 1940-1990," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 115(4), pages 1287-1315, November.
  4. Gomes, Joao F & Greenwood, Jeremy & Rebelo, Sérgio, 1997. "Equilibrium Unemployment," CEPR Discussion Papers 1602, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. James Albrecht & Axel Anderson & Susan Vroman, 2007. "Search by Committee," Working Papers gueconwpa~07-07-09, Georgetown University, Department of Economics.
  6. Shannon Seitz & Jeremy Lise, 2005. "Consumption Inequality and Intra-Household Allocations," 2005 Meeting Papers 448, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  7. Leena Rudanko, 2008. "Aggregate and Idiosyncratic Risk in a Frictional Labor Market," Boston University - Department of Economics - Working Papers Series wp2008-009, Boston University - Department of Economics.
  8. Silvio Rendón, 2002. "Job Search And Asset Accumulation Under Borrowing Constraints," Economics Working Papers we025219, Universidad Carlos III, Departamento de Economía.
  9. Mincer, Jacob, 1978. "Family Migration Decisions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(5), pages 749-73, October.
  10. Dey, Matthew & Flinn, Christopher, 2008. "Household search and health insurance coverage," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 145(1-2), pages 43-63, July.
  11. Daron Acemoglu & Robert Shimer, 1998. "Efficient Unemployment Insurance," NBER Working Papers 6686, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Richard Blundell & Pierre-André Chiappori & Thierry Magnac & Costas Meghir, 2001. "Collective Labor Supply : Heterogeneity and Nonparticipation," Working Papers 2001-32, Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistique.
  13. Krusell, Per & Mukoyama, Toshihiko & Sahin, Aysegul, 2009. "Labor-Market Matching with Precautionary Savings and Aggregate Fluctuations," CEPR Discussion Papers 7429, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  14. repec:bla:restud:v:74:y:2007:i:2:p:417-445 is not listed on IDEAS
  15. Jonathan Heathcote & Kjetil Storesletten & Giovanni L. Violante, 2010. "The Macroeconomic Implications of Rising Wage Inequality in the United States," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 118(4), pages 681-722, 08.
  16. J. Ignacio Garcia-Perez & Silvio Rendon, 2004. "Family job search and consumption: the added worker effect revisited," 2004 Meeting Papers 518, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  17. Guner, Nezih & Kaygusuz, Remzi & Ventura, Gustavo, 2008. "Taxation, Aggregates and the Household," IZA Discussion Papers 3318, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  18. Jeremy Lise, 2011. "On-the-Job Search and Precautionary Savings: Theory and Empirics of Earnings and Wealth Inequality," IFS Working Papers W11/16, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  19. Christopher A. Pissarides, 2002. "Consumption and Savings with Unemployment Risk: Implications for Optimal Employment Contracts," CEP Discussion Papers dp0542, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  20. Luis Cubeddu & José-Víctor Ríos-Rull, 2003. "Families As Shocks," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 1(2-3), pages 671-682, 04/05.
  21. Rasmus Lentz & Torben Tranas, 2005. "Job Search and Savings: Wealth Effects and Duration Dependence," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 23(3), pages 467-490, July.
  22. Chiappori, P.A., 1989. "Collective Labour Supply and Welfare," DELTA Working Papers 89-07, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
  23. Martin Browning & Thomas F. Crossley & Eric F. Smith, 2007. "Asset Accumulation and Short Term Employment," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 10(3), pages 400-423, July.
  24. Flabbi, Luca & Mabli, James, 2012. "Household Search or Individual Search: Does It Matter? Evidence from Lifetime Inequality Estimates," IZA Discussion Papers 6908, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  25. Gottschalk, Peter & Moffitt, Robert, 1999. "Changes in Job Instability and Insecurity Using Monthly Survey Data," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 17(4), pages S91-126, October.
  26. Aiyagari, S.R. & Greenwood, J. & Guner, N., 1999. "On the State of the Union," RCER Working Papers 462, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  27. Kenneth Burdett & Dale T. Mortensen, 1977. "Labor Supply Under Uncertainty," Discussion Papers 297, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  28. McCall, John J, 1970. "Economics of Information and Job Search," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 84(1), pages 113-26, February.
  29. Rasmus Lentz, 2009. "Optimal Unemployment Insurance in an Estimated Job Search Model with Savings," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 12(1), pages 37-57, January.
  30. Andolfatto, David & Gomme, Paul, 1996. "Unemployment insurance and labor-market activity in Canada," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 47-82, June.
  31. James Costain, 1997. "Unemployment insurance with endogenous search intensity and precautionary saving," Economics Working Papers 243, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:fip:fedmsr:426. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Janelle Ruswick)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.