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Job Hoarding

We study a labor market in which principals and agents must search for a trading partner, and agents have private information about the value of a match. We show that competitive pressure can induce agents to lie and over-state the value of the match. This leads to insufficient frictional unemployment and search, and lower average productivity and utility. A fully tax-financed unemployment insurance can therefore eliminate the inefficiency. Moreover, because inefficient “job-hoarding” by workers occurs when there are many workers per job, the analysis provides a novel explanation for the stylized macroeconomic fact that labor productivity is procyclical.

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Paper provided by Hunter College Department of Economics in its series Economics Working Paper Archive at Hunter College with number 437.

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Date of creation: 2012
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Handle: RePEc:htr:hcecon:437
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  1. Jason G. Cummins & Ingmar Nyman, 2002. "The dark side of competitive pressure," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2002-43, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  2. Inderst, Roman, 2005. "Matching markets with adverse selection," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 121(2), pages 145-166, April.
  3. Prescott, Edward C., 1986. "Theory ahead of business-cycle measurement," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 11-44, January.
  4. Daron Acemoglu & Robert Shimer, 1999. "Productivity Gains from Unemployment Insurance," NBER Working Papers 7352, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Hopenhayn, H. & Nicolini, P.J., 1996. "Optimal Unemployment Insurance," RCER Working Papers 421, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  6. Bernanke, Ben S & Parkinson, Martin L, 1991. "Procyclical Labor Productivity and Competing Theories of the Business Cycle: Some Evidence from Interwar U.S. Manufacturing Industries," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(3), pages 439-59, June.
  7. Andreas Pollak, 2004. "Optimal Unemployment Insurance with Variable Skill Levels," Labor and Demography 0409004, EconWPA.
  8. Patrick Legros & Andrew F. Newman, 2003. "Beauty is a Beast, Frog is a Prince: Assortative Matching with Nontransferabilities," Economics Working Papers 0030, Institute for Advanced Study, School of Social Science.
  9. Burnside, Craig & Eichenbaum, Martin & Rebelo, Sergio, 1993. "Labor Hoarding and the Business Cycle," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(2), pages 245-73, April.
  10. Ken Burdett & Melvyn G. Coles, 1997. "Marriage and Class," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(1), pages 141-168.
  11. Matthew Gentzkow & Jesse M. Shapiro, 2006. "Media Bias and Reputation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 114(2), pages 280-316, April.
  12. Roman Inderst, 2001. "Screening in a Matching Market," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 68(4), pages 849-868.
  13. Atkinson, Anthony B & Micklewright, John, 1991. "Unemployment Compensation and Labor Market Transitions: A Critical Review," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 29(4), pages 1679-1727, December.
  14. Shavell, Steven & Weiss, Laurence, 1979. "The Optimal Payment of Unemployment Insurance Benefits over Time," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(6), pages 1347-62, December.
  15. Fredriksson, Peter & Holmlund, Bertil, 2001. "Optimal Unemployment Insurance in Search Equilibrium," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 19(2), pages 370-99, April.
  16. Burdett Kenneth & Imai Ryoichi & Wright Randall, 2004. "Unstable Relationships," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 1(1), pages 1-44, January.
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