IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Island Matching


  • Dale T. Mortensen


A synthesis of the Lucas-Prescott island model and the Mortensen- Pissarides matching model of unemployment is studied. By assumption, all unmatched workers and jobs are randomly assigned to islands at the beginning of each period and the number of matches that form on a particular island is the minimum of the two realizations. When calibrated to the recently observed averages of U.S. unemployment and vacancy rates, the model fits the observed vacancy-unemployment Beveridge relationship very well and implies an implicit log linear relationship between the job finding rate and the vacancy-unemployment relationship with an elasticity near 0.5. The constrained efficient solution to the model is decentralized by a equilibrium outcome in which wages on each island are determined by a modified auction. Although the efficient solution explains only about 25% of the observed volatility in the U.S. vacancy-unemployment ratio, an equilibrium outcome in which wages are determined as the solution to a strategic bargaining game explains almost all of it.

Suggested Citation

  • Dale T. Mortensen, 2007. "Island Matching," NBER Working Papers 13287, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:13287
    Note: EFG

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    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.
    2. Julien, Benoit & Kennes, John & King, Ian, 2006. "The Mortensen rule and efficient coordination unemployment," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 90(2), pages 149-155, February.
    3. Diamond, Peter & Fudenberg, Drew, 1989. "Rational Expectations Business Cycles in Search Equilibrium," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(3), pages 606-619, June.
    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. Dale T. Mortensen & Randall Wright, 2002. "Competitive Pricing and Efficiency in Search Equilibrium," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 43(1), pages 1-20, February.
    6. Robert E. Hall & Paul R. Milgrom, 2008. "The Limited Influence of Unemployment on the Wage Bargain," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(4), pages 1653-1674, September.
    7. Robert Shimer, 2005. "The Cyclical Behavior of Equilibrium Unemployment and Vacancies," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 25-49, March.
    8. Mortensen, Dale T, 1999. "Equilibrium Unemployment Dynamics," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 40(4), pages 889-914, November.
    9. Peter A. Diamond, 1982. "Wage Determination and Efficiency in Search Equilibrium," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 49(2), pages 217-227.
    10. Dale Mortensen & Eva Nagypal, 2007. "More on Unemployment and Vacancy Fluctuations," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 10(3), pages 327-347, July.
    11. Mortensen, Dale T, 1989. " The Persistence and Indeterminancy of Unemployment in Search Equilibrium," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 91(2), pages 347-370.
    12. Christopher A. Pissarides, 2000. "Equilibrium Unemployment Theory, 2nd Edition," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262161877, January.
    13. Mortensen, Dale T, 1982. "Property Rights and Efficiency in Mating, Racing, and Related Games," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(5), pages 968-979, December.
    14. Lucas, Robert Jr. & Prescott, Edward C., 1974. "Equilibrium search and unemployment," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 7(2), pages 188-209, February.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Ludo Visschers & Carlos Carrillo-Tudela, 2011. "Unemployment and Endogenous Reallocation over the Business Cycle," 2011 Meeting Papers 1101, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    2. Carlos Usabiaga & Pablo Álvarez de Toledo & Fernando Núñez, 2013. "Labour Market Segmentation, Clusters, Mobility And Unemployment Duration With Individual Microdata," EcoMod2013 5688, EcoMod.
    3. Kaas Leo, 2010. "Variable Search Intensity with Coordination Unemployment," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 10(1), pages 1-33, October.
    4. Moritz Ritter & John Kennes & Benoit Julien, 2013. "Bidding for Teams," 2013 Meeting Papers 989, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    5. Bauer, Anja, 2013. "Mismatch unemployment : evidence from Germany 2000-2010," IAB Discussion Paper 201310, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
    6. Claudio Michelacci & Josep Pijoan-Mas, 2012. "Intertemporal Labour Supply with Search Frictions," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 79(3), pages 899-931.
    7. Ohanian, Lee E. & Prescott, Edward C. & Stokey, Nancy L., 2009. "Introduction to dynamic general equilibrium," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 144(6), pages 2235-2246, November.
    8. Vives Coscojuela, Cecilia, 2016. "Human Capital and Market Size," IKERLANAK Ikerlanak;2016-98, Universidad del País Vasco - Departamento de Fundamentos del Análisis Económico I.
    9. Carlos Usabiaga & Fernando Núñez & Pablo Álvarez de Toledo, 2013. "Segmentación del mercado de trabajo, clusters, movilidad y duración de desempleo con datos individuales," Economic Working Papers at Centro de Estudios Andaluces E2013/02, Centro de Estudios Andaluces.
    10. Álvarez de Toledo, Pablo & Núñez, Fernando & Usabiaga, Carlos, 2014. "An empirical approach on labour segmentation. Applications with individual duration data," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 252-267.
    11. Simonetta Longhi, 2012. "Job Competition and the Wage Curve," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 46(5), pages 611-620, August.
    12. Kaas, Leo, 2008. "Variable Search Intensity in an Economy with Coordination Unemployment," IZA Discussion Papers 3697, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    13. Benoit Julien & John Kennes & Moritz Ritter, 2013. "Bidding for Clubs," Economics Working Papers 2013-19, Department of Economics and Business Economics, Aarhus University.
    14. Guido Menzio & Randall Wright, 2016. "Introduction to the Special Issue in Honor of Dale Mortensen," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 19, pages 1-3, January.

    More about this item

    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
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:13287. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.