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On the Job Search and Business Cycles

Author

Listed:
  • Moscarini, Giuseppe

    () (Yale University)

  • Postel-Vinay, Fabien

    () (University College London)

Abstract

We propose a highly tractable way of analyzing business cycles in an environment with random job search both off- and and on-the-job (OJS). Ex post heterogeneity in productivity across jobs generates a job ladder. Firms Bertrand-compete for employed workers, as in the Sequential Auctions protocol of Postel-Vinay and Robin (2002). We identify three channels through which OJS amplifies and propagates aggregate shocks: (i) a higher estimated elasticity of the matching function, when recognizing that at least half of all hires are from other employers; (ii) the differential returns to hiring employed and unemployed job applicants, whose proportions naturally vary over the business cycle; (iii) within employment, the slow reallocation of workers through OJS across rungs of the job ladder, generating endogenous, slowly evolving opportunities for further poaching, which feed back on job creation incentives. Endogenous job destruction, due to either aggregate or idiosyncratic shocks, is countercyclical and thus raises the cyclical volatility of unemployment, closer to its empirical value; but it also stimulates job creation in recessions, to take advantage of the fresh batch of unemployed, and tilts the Beveridge curve up. OJS corrects this tendency and restores a vacancy-unemployment trade-off more in line with empirical observations.

Suggested Citation

  • Moscarini, Giuseppe & Postel-Vinay, Fabien, 2018. "On the Job Search and Business Cycles," IZA Discussion Papers 11853, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp11853
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Giuseppe Moscarini & Fabien Postel-Vinay, 2013. "Stochastic Search Equilibrium," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 80(4), pages 1545-1581.
    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. Jeremy Lise & Jean-Marc Robin, 2017. "The Macrodynamics of Sorting between Workers and Firms," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 107(4), pages 1104-1135, April.
    4. Daniel Borowczyk-Martins & Gregory Jolivet & Fabien Postel-Vinay, 2013. "Accounting For Endogeneity in Matching Function Estimation," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 16(3), pages 440-451, July.
    5. Jean‐Marc Robin, 2011. "On the Dynamics of Unemployment and Wage Distributions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 79(5), pages 1327-1355, September.
    6. Lars Ljungqvist & Thomas J. Sargent, 1998. "The European Unemployment Dilemma," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(3), pages 514-550, June.
    7. Guido Menzio & Shouyong Shi, 2011. "Efficient Search on the Job and the Business Cycle," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 119(3), pages 468-510.
    8. Ch. Pissarides., 2011. "The Unemployment Volatility Puzzle: Is Wage Stickiness the Answer?," VOPROSY ECONOMIKI, N.P. Redaktsiya zhurnala "Voprosy Economiki", vol. 1.
    9. Jeremy Lise & Jean-Marc Robin, 2017. "The Macrodynamics of Sorting between Workers and Firms," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 107(4), pages 1104-1135, April.
    10. 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.
    11. repec:spo:wpecon:info:hdl:2441/eu4vqp9ompqllr09j003nctkn is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Robert Shimer, 2005. "The Cyclical Behavior of Equilibrium Unemployment and Vacancies," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 25-49, March.
    13. Fabien Postel-Vinay & Jean-Marc Robin, 2002. "Equilibrium Wage Dispersion with Worker and Employer Heterogeneity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(6), pages 2295-2350, November.
    14. Robert Shimer, 2012. "Reassessing the Ins and Outs of Unemployment," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 15(2), pages 127-148, April.
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    17. Mortensen, Dale T., 1994. "The cyclical behavior of job and worker flows," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 18(6), pages 1121-1142, November.
    18. repec:wly:emetrp:v:85:y:2017:i:6:p:1675-1721 is not listed on IDEAS
    19. Pissarides, Christopher A, 1985. "Short-run Equilibrium Dynamics of Unemployment Vacancies, and Real Wages," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(4), pages 676-690, September.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    labor reallocation; business cycles; search frictions;

    JEL classification:

    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles

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