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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. John Kennan, 2010. "Private Information, Wage Bargaining and Employment Fluctuations," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 77(2), pages 633-664.
  2. tom krebs, 2004. "welfare cost of business cycles when markets are incomplete," Econometric Society 2004 North American Summer Meetings 283, Econometric Society.
  3. James Costain & Michael Reiter, 2005. "Business Cycles, Unemployment Insurance and the Calibration of Matching Models," Working Papers 215, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
  4. Marcus Hagedorn & Iourii Manovskii, 2005. "The Cyclical Behavior of Equilibrium Unemployment and Vacancies Revisited," 2005 Meeting Papers 460, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  5. Per Krusell & Anthony A. Smith, Jr., . "On the Welfare Effects of Eliminating Business Cycles," GSIA Working Papers 243, Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business.
  6. 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.
  7. Philip Jung & Keith Kuester, 2008. "The (un)importance of unemployment fluctuations for welfare," Working Papers 08-31, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  8. 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.
  9. Shigeru Fujita & Garey Ramey, 2007. "The cyclicality of separation and job finding rates," Working Papers 07-19, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  10. Gadi Barlevy, 2003. "The cost of business cycles under endogenous growth," Working Paper Series WP-03-13, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  11. 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.
  12. Mortensen, Dale T. & Pissarides, Christopher A., 1999. "Job reallocation, employment fluctuations and unemployment," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 18, pages 1171-1228 Elsevier.
  13. Garey Ramey & Valerie A. Ramey, 1991. "Technology Commitment and the Cost of Economic Fluctuations," NBER Working Papers 3755, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Andolfatto, David, 1996. "Business Cycles and Labor-Market Search," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(1), pages 112-32, March.
  15. Tom Krebs, 2005. "Job Displacement Risk and the Cost of Business Cycles," 2005 Meeting Papers 188, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  16. Dale T. Mortensen, 2005. "More on Unemployment and Vacancy Fluctuations," 2005 Meeting Papers 326, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  17. Robert E. Hall & Paul R. Milgrom, 2007. "The Limited Influence of Unemployment on the Wage Bargain," Levine's Bibliography 321307000000000135, UCLA Department of Economics.
  18. Harold L. Cole & Richard Rogerson, 1996. "Can the Mortonson-Pissarides matching model match the business cycle facts?," Staff Report 224, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  19. Robert Shimer, 2005. "The Cyclical Behavior of Equilibrium Unemployment and Vacancies," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 25-49, March.
  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. repec:fth:harver:1418 is not listed on IDEAS
  22. 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.
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