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Recall and unemployment


  • Fujita, Shigeru

    (Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia)

  • Moscarini, Giuseppe

    (Yale University)


Using data from the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP) covering 1990-2011, we document that a surprisingly large number of workers return to their previous employer after a jobless spell and experience more favorable labor market outcomes than job switchers. Over 40% of all workers separating into unemployment regain employment at their previous employer; over a fifth of them are permanently separated workers who did not have any expectation of recall, unlike those on temporary layoff. Recalls are associated with much shorter unemployment duration and better wage changes. Negative duration dependence of unemployment nearly disappears once recalls are excluded. We also find that the probability of finding a new job is more procyclical and volatile than the probability of a recall. Incorporating this fact into an empirical matching function significantly alters its estimated elasticity and the time-series behavior of matching efficiency, especially during the Great Recession. We develop a canonical search-and-matching model with a recall option where new matches are mediated by a matching function, while recalls are free and triggered by both aggregate and job-specific shocks. The recall option is lost when the unemployed worker accepts a new job. A quantitative version of the model captures well our cross-sectional and cyclical facts through selection of recalled matches.

Suggested Citation

  • Fujita, Shigeru & Moscarini, Giuseppe, 2013. "Recall and unemployment," Working Papers 14-3, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, revised 01 Nov 2015.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedpwp:14-3

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Daniel Borowczyk-Martins & Gregory Jolivet & Fabien Postel-Vinay, 2013. "Accounting For Endogeneity in Matching Function Estimation," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 16(3), pages 440-451, July.
    2. Kory Kroft & Fabian Lange & Matthew J. Notowidigdo, 2013. "Duration Dependence and Labor Market Conditions: Evidence from a Field Experiment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 128(3), pages 1123-1167.
    3. Gomme, Paul & Lkhagvasuren, Damba, 2015. "Worker search effort as an amplification mechanism," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 75(C), pages 106-122.
    4. Christopher A. Pissarides, 2000. "Equilibrium Unemployment Theory, 2nd Edition," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262161877, January.
    5. Mark Bils & Yongsung Chang & Sun-Bin Kim, 2011. "Worker Heterogeneity and Endogenous Separations in a Matching Model of Unemployment Fluctuations," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(1), pages 128-154, January.
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    Blog mentions

    As found by, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Unemployment dynamics
      by James_Hamilton in Econbrowser on 2014-05-08 02:54:52


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    Cited by:

    1. Jochen Mankart & Rigas Oikonomou, 2017. "Household Search and the Aggregate Labour Market," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 84(4), pages 1735-1788.
    2. Alessandro Gavazza & Simon Mongey & Giovanni L. Violante, 2016. "Aggregate Recruiting Intensity," CEP Discussion Papers dp1449, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    3. Christopher L. Foote & Richard W. Ryan, 2015. "Labor-Market Polarization over the Business Cycle," NBER Macroeconomics Annual, University of Chicago Press, vol. 29(1), pages 371-413.
    4. Edward P. Lazear & Kristin McCue, 2016. "Hires and Separations in Equilibrium," Working Papers 16-57, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    5. Mukoyama, Toshihiko, 2014. "The cyclicality of job-to-job transitions and its implications for aggregate productivity," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 1-17.
    6. repec:red:issued:16-276 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Daniel Borowczyk-Martins & Etienne Lalé, 2016. "The Rise of Part-time Employment," Sciences Po publications 2016-04, Sciences Po.
    8. Hie Ahn & James Hamilton, 2016. "Heterogeneity and Unemployment Dynamics," Working Papers id:11130, eSocialSciences.
    9. Joachim Hubmer, 2018. "The Job Ladder and its Implications for Earnings Risk," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 29, pages 172-194, July.
    10. Rasmus Lentz & Jesper Bagger, 2009. "An Empirical Model of Wage Dispersion with Sorting," 2009 Meeting Papers 964, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    11. Hyatt, Henry R. & Spletzer, James R., 2016. "The shifting job tenure distribution," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 363-377.
    12. Jüßen, Falko & Bredemeier, Christian & Winkler, Roland, 2017. "Fiscal Policy and Occupational Employment Dynamics," Annual Conference 2017 (Vienna): Alternative Structures for Money and Banking 168193, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    13. Modestino, Alicia Sasser & Shoag, Daniel & Ballance, Joshua, 2016. "Downskilling: changes in employer skill requirements over the business cycle," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 333-347.
    14. Giuseppe Moscarini & Fabien Postel-Vinay, 2016. "Wage Posting and Business Cycles: a Quantitative Exploration," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 19, pages 135-160, January.
    15. repec:eee:macchp:v2-2131 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. Johannes Wieland & Gabriel Chodorow-Reich, 2015. "Labor Reallocation and Business Cycles," 2015 Meeting Papers 339, Society for Economic Dynamics.

    More about this item


    Recalls; Unemployment; Duration dependence; Matching function;

    JEL classification:

    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search

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