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Macroeconomic Policy Lessons of Labor Market Frictions

  • Yashiv, Eran


    (Tel Aviv University)

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    The paper explores the consequences of macroeconomic policy for labor market outcomes in the presence of frictions. It shows how policy may be useful in overriding frictions, as well as how it might generate adverse outcomes. The analysis looks at the main tools of macroeconomic policy and pertains to both the non-stochastic steady state and to business cycle fluctuations. A partial-equilibrium, empirically-grounded model is used to simulate policy effects. It relies on a reduced-form VAR of the actual data to specify the stochastic behavior of exogenous variables, precluding the possibility that labor market results will be affected by misspecifications in other parts of a more general macroeconomic model. The key results are that policy has effects on the stochastic behavior of key variables - measures that reduce unemployment also reduce its persistence and increase the volatility of vacancies. Hiring subsidies and unemployment benefits have substantial effects on labor market outcomes, while employment subsidies or wage tax reductions are not very effective policy instruments.

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    Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 446.

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    Length: 39 pages
    Date of creation: Mar 2002
    Date of revision:
    Publication status: published in: European Economic Review, 2004, 48 (2), 259-284
    Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp446
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    1. Paul R. Krugman, 1994. "Past and prospective causes of high unemployment," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, issue Jan, pages 49-98.
    2. Christopher Pissarides, 1997. "The impact of employment tax cuts on unemployment and wages : the role of unemployment benefits and tax structure," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 2332, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    3. Eran Yashiv, 2000. "Hiring as Investment Behavior," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 3(3), pages 486-522, July.
    4. Christopher A. Pissarides & Barbara Petrongolo, 2001. "Looking into the Black Box: A Survey of the Matching Function," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 39(2), pages 390-431, June.
    5. Diamond, Peter A, 1982. "Aggregate Demand Management in Search Equilibrium," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 90(5), pages 881-94, October.
    6. Robert E. Hall, 1998. "Labor-Market Frictions and Employment Fluctuations," NBER Working Papers 6501, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Dale T. Mortensen, 1982. "The Matching Process as a Noncooperative Bargaining Game," NBER Chapters, in: The Economics of Information and Uncertainty, pages 233-258 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Yashiv, E., 1999. "The Determinants of Equilibrium Unemployment," Papers 36-99, Tel Aviv.
    9. 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.
    10. Donald A. Walker (ed.), 2000. "Equilibrium," Books, Edward Elgar, volume 0, number 1585.
    11. Mortensen, Dale T & Pissarides, Christopher A, 1999. "Unemployment Responses to 'Skill-Biased' Technology Shocks: The Role of Labour Market Policy," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(455), pages 242-65, April.
    12. Pissarides, Christopher A, 1985. "Short-run Equilibrium Dynamics of Unemployment Vacancies, and Real Wages," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(4), pages 676-90, September.
    13. repec:oup:restud:v:49:y:1982:i:2:p:217-27 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Blanchard, Olivier Jean & Kahn, Charles M, 1980. "The Solution of Linear Difference Models under Rational Expectations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(5), pages 1305-11, July.
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