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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. Gale, D. & Chamley, C., 1992. "Information Revelation and Strategic Delay in a Model of Investment," Papers 10, Boston University - Department of Economics.
  2. Howitt, Peter, 1988. "Business Cycles with Costly Search and Recruiting," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 103(1), pages 147-65, February.
  3. Edmund S. Phelps, 1968. "Money-Wage Dynamics and Labor-Market Equilibrium," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 76, pages 678.
  4. Mortensen, D. T. & Vishwanath, T., 1995. "Personal contacts and earnings: It is who you know!," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 2(1), pages 103-104, March.
  5. 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.
  6. Daron Acemoglu & Robert Shimer, 1999. "Efficient Unemployment Insurance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(5), pages 893-928, October.
  7. P. Diamond, 1980. "Mobility Costs, Frictional Unemployment and Efficiency," Working papers 257, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  8. Banerjee, Abhijit V, 1992. "A Simple Model of Herd Behavior," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(3), pages 797-817, August.
  9. Rob, Rafael, 1991. "Learning and Capacity Expansion under Demand Uncertainty," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(4), pages 655-75, July.
  10. 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.
  11. Robert E. Hall, 1978. "A Theory of the Natural Unemployment Rate and the Duration of Employment," NBER Working Papers 0251, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Sanford J Grossman & Joseph E Stiglitz, 1997. "On the Impossibility of Informationally Efficient Markets," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1908, David K. Levine.
  13. Caplin, A. & Leahy, J., 1993. "Mass Layoffs and Unemployment," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1666, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  14. Moen, E.R., 1995. "Competitive Search Equilibrium," Memorandum 37/1995, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
  15. Caplin, A. & Leahy, J., 1992. "Business as Usual, Market Crashes, and Wisdom after the Fact," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1594, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  16. Tobin, James, 1972. "Inflation and Unemployment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 62(1), pages 1-18, March.
  17. 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.
  18. Andrew Atkeson & Patrick J. Kehoe, 1993. "Industry evolution and transition: the role of information capital," Staff Report 162, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  19. Caplin, Andrew & Leahy, John V, 1993. "Sectoral Shocks, Learning, and Aggregate Fluctuations," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 60(4), pages 777-94, October.
  20. 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.
  21. Hosios, Arthur J, 1990. "On the Efficiency of Matching and Related Models of Search and Unemployment," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 57(2), pages 279-98, April.
  22. 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.
  23. Shapiro, Carl & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1984. "Equilibrium Unemployment as a Worker Discipline Device," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(3), pages 433-44, June.
  24. 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.
  25. Lucas, Robert Jr. & Prescott, Edward C., 1974. "Equilibrium search and unemployment," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 7(2), pages 188-209, February.
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