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The replacement problem in frictional economies : a near equivalence result

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  • Andreas Hornstein
  • Per Krusell
  • Giovanni L. Violante

Abstract

We examine how technological change affects wage inequality and unemployment in a calibrated model of matching frictions in the labor market. We distinguish between two polar cases studied in the literature: a "creative destruction" economy where new machines enter chiefly through new matches and an "upgrading" economy where machines in existing matches are replaced by new machines. Our main results are: (i) these two economies produce very similar quantitative outcomes, and (ii) the total amount of wage inequality generated by frictions is very small. We explain these findings in light of the fact that, in the model calibrated to the U.S. economy, both unemployment and vacancy durations are very short, i.e., the matching frictions are quantitatively minor. Hence, the equilibrium allocations of the model are remarkably close to those of a frictionless version of our economy where firms are indifferent between upgrading and creative destruction, and where every worker is paid the same market-clearing wage. These results are robust to the inclusion of machine-specific or match-specific heterogeneity into the benchmark model.

Suggested Citation

  • Andreas Hornstein & Per Krusell & Giovanni L. Violante, 2005. "The replacement problem in frictional economies : a near equivalence result," Working Paper 05-01, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedrwp:05-01
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Per Krusell & Lee E. Ohanian & JosÈ-Victor RÌos-Rull & Giovanni L. Violante, 2000. "Capital-Skill Complementarity and Inequality: A Macroeconomic Analysis," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(5), pages 1029-1054, September.
    2. Andreas Hornstein & Per Krusell, 1996. "Can Technology Improvements Cause Productivity Slowdowns?," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1996, Volume 11, pages 209-276 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    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.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Canova, Fabio & Lopez-Salido, Jose David & Michelacci, Claudio, 2007. "The Labour Market Effects of Technology Shocks," CEPR Discussion Papers 6365, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. Jean-Baptiste Michau, 2013. "Creative Destruction with On-the-Job Search," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 16(4), pages 691-707, October.
    3. Fabio Canova & David Lopez-Salido & Claudio Michelacci, 2009. "The ins and outs of unemployment: An analysis conditional on technology shocks," Economics Working Papers 1213, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Jan 2012.
    4. Andreas Hornstein & Per Krusell & Giovanni L. Violante, 2007. "Technology—Policy Interaction in Frictional Labour-Markets," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 74(4), pages 1089-1124.
    5. Costain, James S. & Reiter, Michael, 2008. "Business cycles, unemployment insurance, and the calibration of matching models," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 32(4), pages 1120-1155, April.
    6. Fabio Canova & David Lopez-Salido & Claudio Michelacci, 2006. "Schumpeterian technology shocks," Economics Working Papers 1012, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Nov 2007.
    7. repec:eee:eecrev:v:103:y:2018:i:c:p:150-172 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Hairault, Jean-Olivier & Zhutova, Anastasia, 2018. "The cyclicality of labor-market flows: A multiple-shock approach," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 103(C), pages 150-172.
    9. Chen, Been-Lon & Hsu, Mei & Lai, Chih-Fang, 2016. "Relation between growth and unemployment in a model with labor-force participation and adverse labor institutions," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 273-292.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Contracts ; Technology;

    JEL classification:

    • J41 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Labor Contracts
    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes

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