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A Test between Unemployment Theories Using Matching Data

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  • Coles, Melvyn

    (University of Essex)

  • Petrongolo, Barbara

    (University of Oxford)

Abstract

This paper tests whether aggregate matching is consistent with unemployment being mainly due to search frictions or due to job queues. Using U.K. data and correcting for temporal aggregation bias, estimates of the random matching function are consistent with previous work in this field, but random matching is formally rejected by the data. The data instead support "stock-flow" matching. Estimates find that around 50% of newly unemployed workers match quickly - they are interpreted as being on the short-side of their skill markets. The remaining workers match slowly, their re-employment rates depending statistically on the inflow of new vacancies and not on the vacancy stock. Having failed to match with existing vacancies, these workers wait for the arrival of new job vacancies. The results have important policy implications, particularly with reference to the design of optimal unemployment insurance programs.

Suggested Citation

  • Coles, Melvyn & Petrongolo, Barbara, 2003. "A Test between Unemployment Theories Using Matching Data," IZA Discussion Papers 723, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp723
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    Cited by:

    1. Chassamboulli, Andri, 2013. "Labor-market volatility in a matching model with worker heterogeneity and endogenous separations," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(C), pages 217-229.
    2. Jos van Ommeren & Giovanni Russo, 2014. "Firm Recruitment Behaviour: Sequential or Non-sequential Search?," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 76(3), pages 432-455, June.
    3. Aki Kangasharju & Jaakko Pehkonen & Sari Pekkala, 2005. "Returns to scale in a matching model: evidence from disaggregated panel data," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 37(1), pages 115-118.
    4. Uwe Sunde, 2007. "Empirical Matching Functions: Searchers, Vacancies, and (Un‐)biased Elasticities," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 74(295), pages 537-560, August.
    5. Upward, Richard & Martyn Andrews & Steve Bradley & Dave Stott, 2003. "Testing theories of labour market matching," Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2003 209, Royal Economic Society.
    6. Raphael Desmet & Alain Jousten & Sergio Perelman & Pierre Pestieau, 2007. "Microsimulation of Social Security Reforms in Belgium," NBER Chapters, in: Social Security Programs and Retirement around the World: Fiscal Implications of Reform, pages 43-82, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Fahr René & Sunde Uwe, 2009. "Did the Hartz Reforms Speed-Up the Matching Process? A Macro- Evaluation Using Empirical Matching Functions," German Economic Review, De Gruyter, vol. 10(3), pages 284-316, August.
    8. Jolivet, Gregory & Postel-Vinay, Fabien & Robin, Jean-Marc, 2006. "The empirical content of the job search model: Labor mobility and wage distributions in Europe and the US," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 50(4), pages 877-907, May.
    9. Jekaterina Dmitrijeva & Mihails Hazans, 2007. "A Stock–Flow Matching Approach to Evaluation of Public Training Programme in a High Unemployment Environment," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 21(3), pages 503-540, September.
    10. Joanna Tyrowicz & Tomasz Jeruzalski, 2013. "(In)Efficiency of matching: the case of a post-transition economy," Economic Change and Restructuring, Springer, vol. 46(2), pages 255-275, May.
    11. Borowczyk-Martins, Daniel & Jolivet, Grégory & Postel-Vinay, Fabien, 2011. "Accounting For Endogenous Search Behavior in Matching Function Estimation," CEPR Discussion Papers 8471, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    12. René Fahr & Uwe Sunde, 2009. "Did the Hartz Reforms Speed‐Up the Matching Process? A Macro‐Evaluation Using Empirical Matching Functions," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 10(3), pages 284-316, August.
    13. Yashiv, Eran, 2007. "Labor search and matching in macroeconomics," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 51(8), pages 1859-1895, November.
    14. Ebrahimy, Ehsan & Shimer, Robert, 2010. "Stock-flow matching," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 145(4), pages 1325-1353, July.
    15. M. J. Andrews & S. Bradley & D. Stott & R. Upward, 2008. "Successful Employer Search? An Empirical Analysis of Vacancy Duration Using Micro Data," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 75(299), pages 455-480, August.
    16. M Andrews & S Bradley & D Stott & R Upward, 2003. "Why do Job-Seeker and Vacancy Hazards Slope Downwards? Estimating a Two-Sided Search Model of the Labour Market," Economics Discussion Paper Series 0320, Economics, The University of Manchester.
    17. Robert Shimer, 2007. "Mismatch," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(4), pages 1074-1101, September.
    18. Iva Tomic, 2012. "The Efficiency of the Matching Process: Exploring the Impact of Regional Employment Offices in Croatia," Working Papers 1204, The Institute of Economics, Zagreb.
    19. Masaru Sasaki, 2008. "Matching Function For The Japanese Labour Market: Random Or Stock–Flow?," Bulletin of Economic Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 60(2), pages 209-230, April.
    20. Stephen R. G. Jones & W. Craig Riddell, 2006. "Unemployment and Nonemployment: Heterogeneities in Labor Market States," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 88(2), pages 314-323, May.
    21. Sunde, Uwe, 2002. "Unobserved Bilateral Search on the Labor Market: A Theory-Based Correction for a Common Flaw in Empirical Matching Studies," IZA Discussion Papers 520, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    22. Jekaterina Dmitrijeva, 2008. "Matching and Labour Market Efficiency across Space and through EU accession: Evidence from Latvia, Estonia and Slovenia," Documents de recherche 08-05, Centre d'Études des Politiques Économiques (EPEE), Université d'Evry Val d'Essonne.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    temporal aggregation; unemployment; matching;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • J41 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Labor Contracts
    • J63 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Turnover; Vacancies; Layoffs
    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search

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