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Mass Layoffs and Unemployment

  • Caplin, A.
  • Leahy, J.

Mass layoffs give rise to groups of unemployed workers who possess similar characteristics and therefore may learn from one another's experience searching for a new job. Two factors lead them to be too selective in the job offers that they accept. The first is an information externality: searchers fail to take into account the value of their experience to others. The second is an incentive to free ride: each worker would like others to experiment and reveal information concerning productive jobs. Together these forces imply that in equilibrium the natural rate of unemployment is too high.

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Paper provided by Harvard - Institute of Economic Research in its series Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers with number 1666.

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Length: 25 pages
Date of creation: 1993
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:fth:harver:1666
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  1. Sanford J Grossman & Joseph E Stiglitz, 1997. "On the Impossibility of Informationally Efficient Markets," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1908, David K. Levine.
  2. Hall, Robert E., 1979. "A theory of the natural unemployment rate and the duration of employment," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(2), pages 153-169, April.
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  5. Diamond, Peter A, 1981. "Mobility Costs, Frictional Unemployment, and Efficiency," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(4), pages 798-812, August.
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  7. Montgomery, James D, 1991. "Social Networks and Labor-Market Outcomes: Toward an Economic Analysis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(5), pages 1407-18, December.
  8. Lucas, Robert Jr. & Prescott, Edward C., 1974. "Equilibrium search and unemployment," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 7(2), pages 188-209, February.
  9. Moen, E.R., 1995. "Competitive Search Equilibrium," Memorandum 37/1995, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
  10. Chamley, Christophe & Gale, Douglas, 1994. "Information Revelation and Strategic Delay in a Model of Investment," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(5), pages 1065-85, September.
  11. Caplin, A. & Leahy, J., 1993. "Miracle on Sixth Avenue: Information Externalities and Search," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1665, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  12. Bikhchandani, Sushil & Hirshleifer, David & Welch, Ivo, 1992. "A Theory of Fads, Fashion, Custom, and Cultural Change in Informational Cascades," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(5), pages 992-1026, October.
  13. Andrew Caplin & John Leahy, 1994. "Mass Layoffs and Unemployment," NBER Working Papers 4766, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Tobin, James, 1972. "Inflation and Unemployment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 62(1), pages 1-18, March.
  15. Jovanovic, Boyan, 1979. "Job Matching and the Theory of Turnover," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(5), pages 972-90, October.
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  19. Steve J. Davis & John Haltiwanger, 1991. "Gross job creation, gross job destruction and employment reallocation," Working Paper Series, Macroeconomic Issues 91-5, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  20. Andrew Atkeson & Patrick J. Kehoe, 1993. "Industry evolution and transition: the role of information capital," Staff Report 162, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  21. Abhijit V. Banerjee, 1992. "A Simple Model of Herd Behavior," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(3), pages 797-817.
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  25. Jovanovic, Boyan, 1987. "Work, Rest, and Search: Unemployment, Turnover, and the Cycle," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 5(2), pages 131-48, April.
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