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The shifting and twisting Beveridge curve: an aggregate perspective

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  • Thomas A. Lubik

Abstract

One of the most striking aspects of the Great Recession in the United States is the persistently high level of unemployment despite an uptick in economic activity and an increased willingness by firms to hire. This has stimulated a debate on mismatch in the labor market. The argument is that despite the high unemployment rate the effective pool of job seekers is considerably smaller due to adverse effects of long-term unemployment, high unemployment benefits or structural change. Despite high vacancy postings, firms are therefore unable to hire desired workers. I study this issue from an aggregate perspective by deriving the Beveridge curve from a discrete-time search and matching model of the labor market driven by a variety of shocks. I first establish that the observed pattern in the data can only be described in the context of the model by the interaction of a cyclical decline in productivity and a decline in match efficiency. I then estimate the model using Bayesian methods on unemployment and vacancy data before the onset of the Great Recession. The posterior estimates indicate that the recent behavior of the Beveridge curve is most likely explained by a structural decline in match efficiency.

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  • Thomas A. Lubik, 2013. "The shifting and twisting Beveridge curve: an aggregate perspective," Working Paper 13-16, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedrwp:13-16
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Francesco Furlanetto & Nicolas Groshenny, 2016. "Mismatch Shocks and Unemployment During the Great Recession," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 31(7), pages 1197-1214, November.
    2. 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.
    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. Christopher A. Pissarides & Barbara Petrongolo, 2001. "Looking into the Black Box: A Survey of the Matching Function," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 39(2), pages 390-431, June.
    5. Diamond, Peter A, 1982. "Aggregate Demand Management in Search Equilibrium," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 90(5), pages 881-894, October.
    6. Robert Shimer, 2005. "The Cyclical Behavior of Equilibrium Unemployment and Vacancies," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 25-49, March.
    7. Christopher A. Pissarides, 2000. "Equilibrium Unemployment Theory, 2nd Edition," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262161877, January.
    8. Oliver Jean Blanchard & Peter Diamond, 1989. "The Beveridge Curve," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 20(1), pages 1-76.
    9. Thomas A. Lubik, 2012. "Aggregate Labour Market Dynamics In Hong Kong," Pacific Economic Review, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 17(2), pages 257-279, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Herz, Benedikt & van Rens, Thijs, 2015. "Accounting for Mismatch Employment," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 1061, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
    2. Sabine Klinger & Enzo Weber, 2016. "Decomposing Beveridge Curve Dynamics By Correlated Unobserved Components," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 78(6), pages 877-894, December.

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