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Unemployment Dynamics and the Cost of Business Cycles

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  • Hairault, Jean-Olivier

    () (University of Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne)

  • Langot, François

    () (University of Le Mans)

  • Osotimehin, Sophie

    () (CREST & University of Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne)

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Hairault, Jean-Olivier & Langot, François & Osotimehin, Sophie, 2008. "Unemployment Dynamics and the Cost of Business Cycles," IZA Discussion Papers 3840, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp3840
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    Cited by:

    1. Alain Serres & Fabrice Murtin, 2014. "Unemployment at risk: the policy determinants of labour market exposure to economic shocks," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 29(80), pages 603-637, October.
    2. Andersen, Torben M. & Svarer, Michael, 2009. "Business cycle dependent unemployment insurance," Kiel Working Papers 1498, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    3. Jean-Olivier Hairault & Francois Langot & Sophie Osotimehin, 2010. "Matching frictions, unemployment dynamics and the cost of business cycles," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 13(4), pages 759-779, October.
    4. Philip Jung & Keith Kuester, 2008. "The (un)importance of unemployment fluctuations for welfare," Working Papers 08-31, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, revised 29 Apr 2009.
    5. Jana Kremer & Nikolai Stähler, 2016. "Structural and Cyclical Effects of Tax Progression," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 72(1), pages 41-73, March.
    6. Thomas COUDERT & Thierry BETTI, 2016. "How harmful are cuts in public employment and wage in times of high unemployment?," Working Papers of LaRGE Research Center 2016-05, Laboratoire de Recherche en Gestion et Economie (LaRGE), Université de Strasbourg.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    unemployment dynamics; business cycle costs;

    JEL classification:

    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search

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