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Declining labor turnover and turbulence

  • Fujita, Shigeru

Superseded by Working Paper 15-29 The purpose of this paper is to identify possible sources of the secular decline in the aggregate job separation rate over the last three decades. The author first shows that aging of the labor force alone cannot account for the entire decline. To explore other sources, he uses a simple labor matching model with two types of workers, experienced and inexperienced, where the former type faces a risk of skill obsolescence during unemployment. When the skill depreciation occurs, the worker is required to restart his career and thus suffers a drop in earnings. The author shows that a higher skill depreciation risk results in a lower aggregate separation rate and a smaller earnings loss. The key mechanisms are that the experienced workers accept lower wages in exchange for keeping the job and that the reluctance to separate from the job produces a larger mass of low-quality matches. He also presents empirical evidence consistent with these predictions.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia in its series Working Papers with number 11-44.

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Length: 44 pages
Date of creation: 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:fip:fedpwp:11-44
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  1. Marcus Hagedorn & Iourii Manovskii, 2007. "The Cyclical Behavior of Equilibrium Unemployment and Vacancies Revisited," IEW - Working Papers 351, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  2. Garey Ramey, 2008. "Exogenous vs. Endogenous Separation," 2008 Meeting Papers 466, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  3. Wouter J. Den Haan & Christian Haefke & Garey Ramey, 2004. "Turbulence and Unemployment in a Job Matching Model," Working Papers 142, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
  4. 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.
  5. Robert H. Topel & Michael P. Ward, 1992. "Job Mobility and the Careers of Young Men," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(2), pages 439-479.
  6. Michael J. Pries, 2004. "Persistence of Employment Fluctuations: A Model of Recurring Job Loss," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 71(1), pages 193-215.
  7. Ljungqvist, Lars & Sargent, Thomas J., 1997. "The European Unemployment Dilemma," Working Paper Series 481, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
  8. 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.
  9. Fujita, Shigeru & Ramey, Garey, 2007. "Job matching and propagation," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 31(11), pages 3671-3698, November.
  10. David Neumark & Daniel Polsky & Daniel Hansen, 1997. "Has Job Stability Declined Yet? New Evidence for the 1990's," NBER Working Papers 6330, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Iourii Manovskii & Gueorgui Kambourov, 2004. "Occupational Specificity of Human Capital," 2004 Meeting Papers 197, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  12. Toshihiko Mukoyama & Aysegul Sahin, 2004. "Why Did the Average Duration of Unemployment Become So Much Longer?," Working Papers 04002, Concordia University, Department of Economics.
  13. Shigeru Fujita & Garey Ramey, 2006. "The cyclicality of job loss and hiring," Working Papers 06-17, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  14. den Haan, Wouter J. & Ramey, Garey & Watson, Joel, 2000. "Job destruction and the experiences of displaced workers," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 52(1), pages 87-128, June.
  15. Steven J. Davis & R. Jason Faberman & John Haltiwanger & Ron Jarmin & Javier Miranda, 2008. "Business Volatility, Job Destruction, and Unemployment," NBER Working Papers 14300, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Ramey, Garey, 2008. "Exogenous vs. Endogenous Separation," University of California at San Diego, Economics Working Paper Series qt0qb196qd, Department of Economics, UC San Diego.
  17. Jaeger, David A & Stevens, Ann Huff, 1999. "Is Job Stability in the United States Falling? Reconciling Trends in the Current Population Survey and Panel Study of Income Dynamics," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 17(4), pages S1-28, October.
  18. Henry S. Farber, 2011. "Job Loss in the Great Recession: Historial Perspective from the Displaced Workers Survey, 1984-2010," Working Papers 1309, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  19. Maxim Poletaev & Chris Robinson, 2008. "Human Capital Specificity: Evidence from the Dictionary of Occupational Titles and Displaced Worker Surveys 1984-2000," University of Western Ontario, Centre for Human Capital and Productivity (CHCP) Working Papers 20083, University of Western Ontario, Centre for Human Capital and Productivity (CHCP).
  20. Farber, Henry S, 2011. "Job Loss in the Great Recession: Historical Perspective from the Displaced Workers Survey, 1984-2010," IZA Discussion Papers 5696, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  21. Robert Shimer, 2005. "The Cyclical Behavior of Equilibrium Unemployment and Vacancies," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 25-49, March.
  22. Henry S. Farber, 2011. "Job Loss in the Great Recession: Historical Perspective from the Displaced Workers Survey, 1984-2010," NBER Working Papers 17040, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  23. Simon Burgess & Helene Turon, 2005. "The Cyclical Behavior of Equilibrium Unemployment and Vacancies – A Comment," Bristol Economics Discussion Papers 05/573, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
  24. Ruhm, Christopher J, 1991. "Are Workers Permanently Scarred by Job Displacements?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(1), pages 319-24, March.
  25. Shigeru Fujita & Christopher J. Nekarda & Garey Ramey, 2007. "The cyclicality of worker flows: new evidence from the SIPP," Working Papers 07-5, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
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