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Life-Cycle Equilibrium Unemployment

  • Chéron, Arnaud


    (University of Le Mans)

  • Hairault, Jean-Olivier


    (University of Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne)

  • Langot, François


    (University of Le Mans)

This paper develops a life-cycle approach to equilibrium unemployment. Workers only differ respectively to their distance from deterministic retirement. A non age-directed search equilibrium is then typically featured by increasing (decreasing) firing (hiring) rates with age and a hump-shaped age profile for employment. Because of intergenerational inefficiencies, the Hosios condition no longer achieves efficiency. We then explore the optimal age-pattern of some policy tools to restore this efficiency. The optimal profile for employment subsidies should increase with age, whereas firing taxes and hirings subsidies would have to be hump-shaped. Lastly, we examine the robustness of our results. We show that age-directed recruitment policies cannot exist in equilibrium even if it would have been ex-ante possible, and that introducing endogenous search effort of unemployed workers reinforces our main results.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 3396.

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Length: 39 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2008
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Journal of Labor Economics, 2013, 31, 843-882
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp3396
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  1. Guido Menzio & Irina A. Telyukova & Ludo Visschers, 2012. "Directed Search over the Life Cycle," PIER Working Paper Archive 12-002, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
  2. Arnaud Chéron & Jean-Olivier Hairault & François Langot, 2009. "The role of Institutions in Transatlantic Employment Differences: A Life-Cycle View," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) hal-00623280, HAL.
  3. Judith K. Hellerstein & David Neumark & Kenneth R. Troske, 1996. "Wages, Productivity, and Worker Characteristics: Evidence from Plant-Level Production Functions and Wage Equations," NBER Working Papers 5626, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Edward C. Prescott, 2004. "Why do Americans Work so Much More than Europeans?," NBER Working Papers 10316, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Steven J. Davis, 2001. "The Quality Distribution of Jobs and the Structure of Wages in Search Equilibrium," NBER Working Papers 8434, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Bartel, Ann P & Sicherman, Nachum, 1993. "Technological Change and Retirement Decisions of Older Workers," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 11(1), pages 162-83, January.
  7. Pedro Portugal & Olivier Blanchard, 2001. "What Hides Behind an Unemployment Rate: Comparing Portuguese and U.S. Labor Markets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(1), pages 187-207, March.
  8. Mortensen, Dale T & Pissarides, Christopher A, 1994. "Job Creation and Job Destruction in the Theory of Unemployment," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 61(3), pages 397-415, July.
  9. Ljungqvist, Lars & Sargent, Thomas J., 1997. "The European Unemployment Dilemma," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 178, Stockholm School of Economics.
  10. Robert Hutchens, 1988. "Do job opportunities decline with age?," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 42(1), pages 89-99, October.
  11. James Albrecht & Lucas Navarro & Susan Vroman, 2009. "Efficiency in a Search and Matching Model with Endogenous Participation," ILADES-Georgetown University Working Papers inv218, Ilades-Georgetown University, Universidad Alberto Hurtado/School of Economics and Bussines.
  12. Chéron, Arnaud & Hairault, Jean-Olivier & Langot, François, 2008. "Age-Dependent Employment Protection," IZA Discussion Papers 3851, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  13. Moen, E.R., 1995. "Competitive Search Equilibrium," Memorandum 37/1995, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
  14. Maite Blázquez & Marcel Jansen, 2005. "Search, Mismatch and Unemployment," Labor and Demography 0510012, EconWPA.
  15. Eytan Sheshinski, 1977. "A Model of Social Security and Retirement Decisions," NBER Working Papers 0187, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Hairault, Jean-Olivier & Chéron, Arnaud & Langot, François, 2007. "Job Creation and Job Destruction over the Life Cycle: The Older Workers in the Spotlight," IZA Discussion Papers 2597, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  17. Michael Sattinger, 2003. "Overlapping Labour Markets," Discussion Papers 03-06, University at Albany, SUNY, Department of Economics.
  18. 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.
  19. Jean-Olivier Hairault & Francois Langot & Thepthida Sopraseuth, 2010. "Distance to Retirement and Older Workers' Employment: The Case for Delaying the Retirement Age," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 8(5), pages 1034-1076, 09.
  20. Seater, John J., 1977. "A unified model of consumption, labor supply, and job search," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 349-372, April.
  21. Richard Rogerson, 2006. "Understanding Differences in Hours Worked," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 9(3), pages 365-409, July.
  22. Robert E. Hall, 2005. "Employment Fluctuations with Equilibrium Wage Stickiness," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 50-65, March.
  23. Mortensen, Dale T. & Pissarides, Christopher A., 1999. "New developments in models of search in the labor market," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 39, pages 2567-2627 Elsevier.
  24. Heckman, James J, 1974. "Life Cycle Consumption and Labor Supply: An Explanation of the Relationship Between Income and Consumption Over the Life Cycle," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 64(1), pages 188-94, March.
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