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The Cyclical Volatility of Labor Markets under Frictional Financial Markets

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Listed:
  • Petrosky-Nadeau, Nicolas

    () (Carnegie Mellon University)

  • Wasmer, Etienne

    () (Sciences Po, Paris)

Abstract

Financial frictions are known to raise the volatility of economies to shocks (e.g. Bernanke and Gertler 1989). We follow this line of research to the labor literature concerned by the volatility of labor market outcomes to productivity shocks initiated by Shimer (2005): in an economy with search on credit and labor markets, a financial multiplier raises the elasticity of labor market tightness to productivity shocks. This multiplier increases with total financial costs and is minimized under a credit market Hosios-Pissarides rule. Using a flexible calibration method based on small perturbations, we find the parameter values to match the US share of the financial sector. Those values are far away from Hosios and lead to a financial accelerator of about 3.6 (exogenous wages) to 4.5 (endogenous wages). Both match Shimer (2005)'s elasticity of labor market tightness to productivity shocks. Financial frictions are thus an alternative to the "small labor surplus" assumption in Hagedorn and Manovskii (2008): we keep the value of wages over productivity below 0.78. We conclude that financial frictions are a good candidate to solve the volatility puzzle and rejoin Pissarides (2009) in arguing that hiring costs must be partly non-proportional to congestion in the labor market, which is the case of financial costs.

Suggested Citation

  • Petrosky-Nadeau, Nicolas & Wasmer, Etienne, 2010. "The Cyclical Volatility of Labor Markets under Frictional Financial Markets," IZA Discussion Papers 5131, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp5131
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Marcus Hagedorn & Iourii Manovskii, 2008. "The Cyclical Behavior of Equilibrium Unemployment and Vacancies Revisited," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(4), pages 1692-1706, September.
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    3. Mortensen, Dale & Pissarides, Christopher, 2011. "Job Creation and Job Destruction in the Theory of Unemployment," Economic Policy, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration, vol. 1, pages 1-19.
    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. Bernanke, Ben & Gertler, Mark & Gilchrist, Simon, 1996. "The Financial Accelerator and the Flight to Quality," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 78(1), pages 1-15, February.
    6. Philippe Weil & Etienne Wasmer, 2004. "The macroeconomics of credit and labor market imperfections," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/13436, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    7. 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 933-959, November.
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    11. Delacroix, Alain, 2006. "A multisectorial matching model of unions," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(3), pages 573-596, April.
    12. Bernanke, Ben & Gertler, Mark, 1989. "Agency Costs, Net Worth, and Business Fluctuations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(1), pages 14-31, March.
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    15. Arthur J. Hosios, 1990. "On The Efficiency of Matching and Related Models of Search and Unemployment," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 57(2), pages 279-298.
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    Keywords

    search; macroeconomic volatility; financial imperfections; Shimer puzzle;

    JEL classification:

    • E44 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy
    • J60 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - General

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