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Labor Market Flows and Equilibrium Search Unemployment

  • Garibaldi, Pietro


    (University of Turin)

  • Wasmer, Etienne


    (Sciences Po, Paris)

This paper explicitly differentiates between unemployment and inactivity, by defining inactivity as a state in which individuals do not search for jobs when non-employed. Facing changes in the value of inactivity, individuals transit through three labor market states. In steady-state, we hence have a theory of equilibrium unemployment determined by both matching frictions and labor market participation margins. The paper firstly rationalizes and quantitatively accounts for the existence of large flows between employment, unemployment and inactivity. Secondly, it shows that unemployment and aggregate wages rise because some of the employed workers are unattached to the labor force, in the sense that they join the inactive pool when they lose a job. Thirdly, unemployment income has little effects on employment, since it attracts people into the labor force and rises the share of attached workers. Finally, our theory suggests that contrary to two-state models, taxation of market activity increases non-participation, unattachment and adversely affects unemployment.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 406.

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Length: 42 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2001
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp406
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  1. Abowd, John M & Zellner, Arnold, 1985. "Estimating Gross Labor-Force Flows," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 3(3), pages 254-83, June.
  2. Harsanyi, John C., 1994. "Games with Incomplete Information," Nobel Prize in Economics documents 1994-1, Nobel Prize Committee.
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  4. 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.
  5. Michael Sattinger, 1993. "General Equilibrium Effects of Unemployment Compensation with Labor Force Participation," Discussion Papers 93-03, University at Albany, SUNY, Department of Economics.
  6. Kenneth Burdett & Nicholas M. Kiefer & Dale T. Mortensen & George R. Neumann, 1984. "Earnings, Unemployment, and the Allocation of Time Over Time," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 51(4), pages 559-578.
  7. Atkinson, Anthony B & Micklewright, John, 1991. "Unemployment Compensation and Labor Market Transitions: A Critical Review," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 29(4), pages 1679-1727, December.
  8. Kenneth Burdett & Dale T. Mortensen, 1977. "Labor Supply Under Uncertainty," Discussion Papers 297, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  9. Christopher A. Pissarides, 1997. "The Impact of Employment Tax Cuts on Unemployment and Wages: The Role of Unemployment Benefits and Tax Structure," CEP Discussion Papers dp0361, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  10. Dale T. Mortensen & Christopher A. Pissarides, 1994. "Job Creation and Job Destruction in the Theory of Unemployment," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 61(3), pages 397-415.
  11. Burda, Michael & Wyplosz, Charles, 1994. "Gross worker and job flows in Europe," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 38(6), pages 1287-1315, June.
  12. Benhabib, Jess & Rogerson, Richard & Wright, Randall, 1991. "Homework in Macroeconomics: Household Production and Aggregate Fluctuations," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(6), pages 1166-87, December.
  13. McKenna, Christopher J, 1987. "Labour Market Participation in Matching Equilibrium," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 54(215), pages 325-33, August.
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  15. Chinhui Juhn & Kevin M. Murphy & Robert H. Topel, 1991. "Why Has the Natural Rate of Unemployment Increased over Time?," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 22(2), pages 75-142.
  16. John C. Harsanyi & Reinhard Selten, 1972. "A Generalized Nash Solution for Two-Person Bargaining Games with Incomplete Information," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 18(5-Part-2), pages 80-106, January.
  17. Francesco Daveri & Guido Tabellini, 2000. "Unemployment, growth and taxation in industrial countries," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 15(30), pages 47-104, 04.
  18. Swaim, Paul & Podgursky, Michael, 1994. "Female Labor Supply Following Displacement: A Split-Population Model of Labor Force Participation and Job Search," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 12(4), pages 640-56, October.
  19. 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.
  20. Eisner, Robert, 1988. "Extended Accounts for National Income and Product," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 26(4), pages 1611-84, December.
  21. Rogerson, Richard, 1988. "Indivisible labor, lotteries and equilibrium," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 3-16, January.
  22. Christopher J. Flinn & James J. Heckman, 1982. "Are Unemployment and Out of the Labor Force Behaviorally Distinct Labor Force States?," NBER Working Papers 0979, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  23. Murphy, Kevin M & Topel, Robert H, 1997. "Unemployment and Nonemployment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(2), pages 295-300, May.
  24. Katharine G. Abraham & Robert Shimer, 2001. "Changes in Unemployment Duration and Labor Force Attachment," NBER Working Papers 8513, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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