IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/fip/fedpwp/08-31.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The (un)importance of unemployment fluctuations for welfare

Author

Listed:
  • Philip Jung
  • Keith Kuester

Abstract

This paper develops a real business cycle model with labor market search and matching frictions, which endogenously links both the cyclical fluctuations and the mean level of unemployment to the aggregate business cycle risk. The key result of the paper is that business cycles are costly for all consumers, regardless of their wealth, yet that unemployment fluctuations themselves are not the source of these costs. Rather fluctuations over the cycle induce higher average unemployment rates as employment is non-linear in job-finding rates and past unemployment. The authors first show this result analytically in special cases. They then calibrate a general equilibrium model with risk-averse asset-holding and liquidity-constrained workers to US data. Also under these more general circumstances, business cycles mean higher unemployment for all workers. The ensuing costs of cycles rise further for liquidity-constrained agents when replacement rates are lower or when workers' skills depend on the length of (un)employment spells.

Suggested Citation

  • Philip Jung & Keith Kuester, 2008. "The (un)importance of unemployment fluctuations for welfare," Working Papers 08-31, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, revised 29 Apr 2009.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedpwp:08-31
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://www.philadelphiafed.org/-/media/research-and-data/publications/working-papers/2008/wp08-31r.pdf?la=en
    File Function: Full text
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Marcus Hagedorn & Iourii Manovskii, 2008. "The Cyclical Behavior of Equilibrium Unemployment and Vacancies Revisited," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(4), pages 1692-1706, September.
    2. tom krebs, 2004. "welfare cost of business cycles when markets are incomplete," Econometric Society 2004 North American Summer Meetings 283, Econometric Society.
    3. 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.
    4. N. Gregory Mankiw, 2000. "The Savers-Spenders Theory of Fiscal Policy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(2), pages 120-125, May.
    5. Gadi Barlevy, 2005. "The cost of business cycles and the benefits of stabilization," Economic Perspectives, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, issue Q I, pages 32-49.
    6. repec:wop:calsdi:97-23 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Jacobson, Louis S & LaLonde, Robert J & Sullivan, Daniel G, 1993. "Earnings Losses of Displaced Workers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(4), pages 685-709, September.
    8. Tom Krebs, 2007. "Job Displacement Risk and the Cost of Business Cycles," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(3), pages 664-686, June.
    9. Andrew T. Levin & Alexei Onatski & John Williams & Noah M. Williams, 2006. "Monetary Policy Under Uncertainty in Micro-Founded Macroeconometric Models," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2005, Volume 20, pages 229-312 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Andrew Atkeson & Christopher Phelan, 1994. "Reconsidering the Costs of Business Cycles with Incomplete Markets," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1994, Volume 9, pages 187-218 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Robert E. Hall & Paul R. Milgrom, 2008. "The Limited Influence of Unemployment on the Wage Bargain," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(4), pages 1653-1674, September.
    12. Shigeru Fujita & Garey Ramey, 2009. "The Cyclicality Of Separation And Job Finding Rates," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 50(2), pages 415-430, May.
    13. David Domeij & Martin Floden, 2006. "The Labor-Supply Elasticity and Borrowing Constraints: Why Estimates are Biased," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 9(2), pages 242-262, April.
    14. Gadi Barlevy, 2004. "The Cost of Business Cycles Under Endogenous Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(4), pages 964-990, September.
    15. Garey Ramey & Wouter J. den Haan & Joel Watson, 2000. "Job Destruction and Propagation of Shocks," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(3), pages 482-498, June.
    16. Robert Shimer, 2005. "The Cyclical Behavior of Equilibrium Unemployment and Vacancies," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 25-49, March.
    17. Mukoyama, Toshihiko & Sahin, Aysegul, 2006. "Costs of business cycles for unskilled workers," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(8), pages 2179-2193, November.
    18. Hairault, Jean-Olivier & Langot, François & Osotimehin, Sophie, 2008. "Unemployment Dynamics and the Cost of Business Cycles," IZA Discussion Papers 3840, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    19. Salyer, Kevin D., 2007. "Macroeconomic priorities and crash states," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 94(1), pages 64-70, January.
    20. Engen, Eric M. & Gruber, Jonathan, 2001. "Unemployment insurance and precautionary saving," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(3), pages 545-579, June.
    21. Dale Mortensen & Eva Nagypal, 2007. "More on Unemployment and Vacancy Fluctuations," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 10(3), pages 327-347, July.
    22. Storesletten, Kjetil & Telmer, Chris I. & Yaron, Amir, 2001. "The welfare cost of business cycles revisited: Finite lives and cyclical variation in idiosyncratic risk," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(7), pages 1311-1339.
    23. Schmitt-Grohe, Stephanie & Uribe, Martin, 2004. "Solving dynamic general equilibrium models using a second-order approximation to the policy function," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 28(4), pages 755-775, January.
    24. Keane, Michael P & Wolpin, Kenneth I, 1997. "The Career Decisions of Young Men," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(3), pages 473-522, June.
    25. James S. Costain & Michael Reiter, 2004. "Stabilization versus insurance: Welfare effects of procyclical taxation under incomplete markets," Economics Working Papers 890, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Aug 2005.
    26. Beaudry, Paul & Pages, Carmen, 2001. "The cost of business cycles and the stabilization value of unemployment insurance," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(8), pages 1545-1572, August.
    27. Per Krusell & Anthony A. Smith, Jr., 1999. "On the Welfare Effects of Eliminating Business Cycles," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 2(1), pages 245-272, January.
    28. Chatterjee, Satyajit & Corbae, Dean, 2007. "On the aggregate welfare cost of Great Depression unemployment," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(6), pages 1529-1544, September.
    29. Tom Krebs, 2003. "Growth and Welfare Effects of Business Cycles in Economies with Idiosyncratic Human Capital Risk," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 6(4), pages 846-868, October.
    30. James Costain and Michael Reiter, 2001. "Stabilization versus Insurance," Computing in Economics and Finance 2001 161, Society for Computational Economics.
    31. Robert E. Hall, 2005. "Employment Fluctuations with Equilibrium Wage Stickiness," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 50-65, March.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Tom Krebs, 2014. "Labor Market Reform and the Cost of Business Cycles," 2014 Meeting Papers 1017, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    2. Miguel Casares & Antonio Moreno & Jesús Vázquez, 2012. "Wage stickiness and unemployment fluctuations: an alternative approach," SERIEs: Journal of the Spanish Economic Association, Springer;Spanish Economic Association, vol. 3(3), pages 395-422, September.
    3. Alain Serres & Fabrice Murtin, 2014. "Unemployment at risk: the policy determinants of labour market exposure to economic shocks," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 29(80), pages 603-637, October.
    4. Per Krusell & Toshihiko Mukoyama & Ayşegül Şahin, 2010. "Labour-Market Matching with Precautionary Savings and Aggregate Fluctuations," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 77(4), pages 1477-1507.
    5. Enders, Zeno & Jung, Philip & Müller, Gernot J., 2013. "Has the Euro changed the business cycle?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 189-211.
    6. Hairault, Jean-Olivier & Langot, François & Osotimehin, Sophie, 2008. "Unemployment Dynamics and the Cost of Business Cycles," IZA Discussion Papers 3840, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    7. Enders, Zeno & Jung, Philip & Müller, Gernot J., 2013. "Has the Euro changed the business cycle?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 189-211.
    8. Jean-Olivier Hairault & Francois Langot & Sophie Osotimehin, 2010. "Matching frictions, unemployment dynamics and the cost of business cycles," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 13(4), pages 759-779, October.
    9. Den Haan, Wouter & Rendahl, Pontus & Riegler, Markus, 2015. "Unemployment (Fears) and Deflationary Spirals," CEPR Discussion Papers 10814, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    10. Moreno-Galbis, Eva, 2012. "The impact of TFP growth on the unemployment rate: Does on-the-job training matter?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 56(8), pages 1692-1713.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Unemployment ; Welfare ; Business cycles;

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:fip:fedpwp:08-31. 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: (Beth Paul). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/frbphus.html .

    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 CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.