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It's About Time: Implications of the Period Length in an Equilibrium Job Search Model

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  • Wolthoff, Ronald P.

    (University of Toronto)

Abstract

This paper analyzes the role of the period length in a search model of the labor market and argues that it has profound implications for the market equilibrium. In the model, job offers and job destruction shocks arrive according to a Poisson process in continuous time, but institutional factors and/or informational frictions may delay workers' transitions into or out of a job. This effectively creates discrete time periods of arbitrary length, with continuous time being the limit case when the period length goes to zero. Longer periods introduce the possibility of simultaneity or recall of job offers, affecting the labor share, the amount of wage dispersion, as well as the allocation of workers over jobs with different productivity levels. Misspecification of the period length may therefore lead to inconsistent estimates of structural parameters and wrong conclusions on optimal policy.

Suggested Citation

  • Wolthoff, Ronald P., 2011. "It's About Time: Implications of the Period Length in an Equilibrium Job Search Model," IZA Discussion Papers 6002, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6002
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    Cited by:

    1. Ronald Wolthoff, 2014. "It'S About Time: Implications Of The Period Length In An Equilibrium Search Model," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 55(3), pages 839-867, August.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    labor market frictions; wage dispersion; on-the-job search; simultaneous search;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness

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