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Unobserved Bilateral Search on the Labor Market: A Theory-Based Correction for a Common Flaw in Empirical Matching Studies

  • Sunde, Uwe

    ()

    (University of Munich)

This paper develops a model of equilibrium unemployment with (unobservable) endogenous on-the-job search and (partly unobservable) endogenous search behavior by firms. The model allows to analyze crowding-out of unemployed job seekers by endogenous on-the job search of employees, and the interaction of job search behavior and vacancy posting policies of firms. Moreover, it is shown that the neglect of endogenous but not observable behavior in the empirical literature on labor matching leads to systematically biased estimates of the matching elasticities, posing a caveat on the results of previous studies testing for constant returns of the matching function. The theoretical model presented allows to predict the direction of the bias. We propose a correction for the estimates of empirical matching functions that leads to unbiased estimates of the matching elasticities. The empirical implications of the theoretical model are tested and confirmed using German administrative data, and unbiased estimates of matching elasticities are presented.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 520.

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Length: 38 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2002
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp520
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  1. Coles, Melvyn G & Smith, Eric, 1998. "Marketplaces and Matching," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 39(1), pages 239-54, February.
  2. Calvó-Armengol, Antoni & Zenou, Yves, 2001. "Job Matching, Social Network and Word-of-Mouth Communication," Seminar Papers 695, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
  3. Petrongolo, Barbara, 2001. "Reemployment Probabilities and Returns to Matching," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 19(3), pages 716-41, July.
  4. van Ours, J.C. & Broersma, L., 1999. "Job searchers, job matches and the elasticity of matching," Other publications TiSEM c199f354-b73c-49b6-84f6-e, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
  5. repec:oup:restud:v:61:y:1994:i:3:p:397-415 is not listed on IDEAS
  6. Fahr, René & Sunde, Uwe, 2001. "Strategic Hiring Behavior in Empirical Matching Functions," IZA Discussion Papers 320, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. Petrongolo, Barbara & Pissarides, Christopher, 2000. "Looking Into The Black Box: A Survey Of The Matching Function," CEPR Discussion Papers 2409, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Pfann, Gerard A., 2001. "Downsizing," IZA Discussion Papers 307, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    • Gerard A. Pfann, 2001. "Downsizing," Working Papers 0110, Harris School of Public Policy Studies, University of Chicago.
  9. repec:oup:restud:v:61:y:1994:i:3:p:417-34 is not listed on IDEAS
  10. Broersma, L. & van Ours, J.C., 1998. "Job Searchers, Job Matches and the Elasticity of Matching," Discussion Paper 1998-72, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  11. Adriana D. Kugler & Gilles Saint-Paul, 2004. "How Do Firing Costs Affect Worker Flows in a World with Adverse Selection?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 22(3), pages 553-584, July.
  12. Boeri, Tito, 1999. "Enforcement of employment security regulations, on-the-job search and unemployment duration," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 65-89, January.
  13. Patricia M. Anderson & Simon M. Burgess, 2000. "Empirical Matching Functions: Estimation and Interpretation Using State-Level Data," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 82(1), pages 93-102, February.
  14. Garibaldi, Pietro, 1999. "Search Unemployment with Advance Notice," CEPR Discussion Papers 2164, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  15. van Ours, J.C. & Lindeboom, M. & Renes, G., 1994. "Matching employers and workers : An empirical analysis on the effectiveness of search," Other publications TiSEM 3ada67c1-145c-42d0-8726-f, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
  16. Coles, Melvyn G & Petrongolo, Barbara, 2002. "A Test Between Unemployment Theories Using Matching Data," CEPR Discussion Papers 3241, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  17. Fabien Postel-Vinay & Jean-Marc Robin, 2002. "Equilibrium Wage Dispersion with Worker and Employer Heterogeneity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(6), pages 2295-2350, November.
  18. Warren, Ronald Jr., 1996. "Returns to scale in a matching model of the labor market," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 135-142, January.
  19. James W. Albrecht & Pieter A. Gautier & Susan B. Vroman, 2001. "Matching with Multiple Applications," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 01-080/3, Tinbergen Institute.
  20. van Ours, Jan C., 1995. "An empirical note on employed and unemployed job search," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 49(4), pages 447-452, October.
  21. repec:oup:restud:v:61:y:1994:i:3:p:457-75 is not listed on IDEAS
  22. Belzil, Christian, 2000. "Job Creation and Job Destruction, Worker Reallocation, and Wages," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 18(2), pages 183-203, April.
  23. Burdett, Kenneth & Coles, Melvyn G, 1999. "Long-Term Partnership Formation: Marriage and Employment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(456), pages F307-34, June.
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