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Unemployment Dynamics and the Cost of Business Cycles

  • Hairault, Jean-Olivier

    ()

    (University of Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne)

  • Langot, François

    ()

    (University of Le Mans)

  • Osotimehin, Sophie

    ()

    (CREST & University of Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne)

In this paper, we investigate whether business cycles can imply sizable effects on average unemployment. First, using a reduced-form model of the labor market, we show that job finding rate fluctuations generate intrinsically a non-linear effect on unemployment: positive shocks reduce unemployment less than negative shocks increase it. For the observed process of the job finding rate in the US economy, this intrinsic asymmetry is enough to generate substantial welfare implications. This result also holds when we allow the job finding rate to be endogenous, provided the structural model is able to reproduce the volatility of the job finding rate. Moreover, the matching model embeds other non-linearities which alter the average job finding rate and so the business cycle cost.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 3840.

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Length: 41 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2008
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Review of Economic Dynamics, 2010, 13(4), 759-779
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp3840
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  1. Garey Ramey & Valerie A. Ramey, 1991. "Technology Commitment and the Cost of Economic Fluctuations," NBER Working Papers 3755, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Cole, Harold L & Rogerson, Richard, 1999. "Can the Mortensen-Pissarides Matching Model Match the Business-Cycle Facts?," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 40(4), pages 933-59, November.
  3. Andolfatto, David, 1996. "Business Cycles and Labor-Market Search," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(1), pages 112-32, March.
  4. Dale T. Mortensen, 2005. "More on Unemployment and Vacancy Fluctuations," 2005 Meeting Papers 326, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  5. Tom Krebs, 2004. "Welfare Cost of Business Cycles When Markets Are Incomplete," Working Papers 2004-08, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  6. John Kennan, 2010. "Private Information, Wage Bargaining and Employment Fluctuations," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 77(2), pages 633-664.
  7. repec:fth:harver:1418 is not listed on IDEAS
  8. Robert E. Hall & Paul R. Milgrom, 2008. "The Limited Influence of Unemployment on the Wage Bargain," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(4), pages 1653-74, September.
  9. Anne Epaulard & Aude Pommeret, 2003. "Recursive Utility, Endogenous Growth, and the Welfare Cost of Volatility," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 6(3), pages 672-684, July.
  10. Christopher Pissarides, 2007. "The unemployment volatility puzzle: is wage stickiness the answer?," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 4460, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  11. Tom Krebs, 2007. "Job Displacement Risk and the Cost of Business Cycles," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(3), pages 664-686, June.
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  13. Dale T. Mortensen & Christopher A. Pissarides, 1999. "Job Reallocation, Employment Fluctuations and Unemployment," CEP Discussion Papers dp0421, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
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  17. J. Bradford DeLong & Lawrence H. Summers, 1988. "How Does Macroeconomic Policy Affect Output?," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 19(2), pages 433-494.
  18. Beaudry, Paul & Pages, Carmen, 2001. "The cost of business cycles and the stabilization value of unemployment insurance," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(8), pages 1545-1572, August.
  19. Per Krusell & Anthony A. Smith, Jr., 1999. "On the Welfare Effects of Eliminating Business Cycles," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 2(1), pages 245-272, January.
  20. Robert E. Hall, 2005. "Employment Fluctuations with Equilibrium Wage Stickiness," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 50-65, March.
  21. Philip Jung & Keith Kuester, 2008. "The (un)importance of unemployment fluctuations for welfare," Working Papers 08-31, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  22. Shigeru Fujita & Garey Ramey, 2009. "The Cyclicality Of Separation And Job Finding Rates," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 50(2), pages 415-430, 05.
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