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Marginal Jobs, Heterogeneous Firms, & Unemployment Flows

  • Michael W. L. Elsby

This paper introduces a notion of fir m size into a search and matching model with endogenous job destruction. The outcome is a rich, yet analytically tractable framework that can be used to analyze a broad set of features of both the cross section and the dynamics of the aggregate labor market. In a set of quantitative applications we show that the model can provide a coherent account of a) the salient features of the distributions of employer size, and employment growth across establishments; b) the amplitude and propagation of cyclical fluctuations in flows between employment and unemployment; c) the negative comovement of unemployment and vacancies in the form of the Beveridge curve; and d) the dynamics of the distribution of employer size over the business cycle.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 13777.

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Date of creation: Feb 2008
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Elsby, Michael W. L., and Ryan Michaels. 2013. "Marginal Jobs, Heterogeneous Firms, and Unemployment Flows." American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, 5(1): 1-48.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:13777
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  1. Garibaldi, Pietro, 2006. "Hiring Freeze and Bankruptcy in Unemployment Dynamics," CEPR Discussion Papers 5835, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Marcus Hagedorn & Iourii Manovskii, 2007. "The Cyclical Behavior of Equilibrium Unemployment and Vacancies Revisited," IEW - Working Papers 351, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  3. Robert Shimer, 2005. "The Cyclical Behavior of Equilibrium Unemployment and Vacancies," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 25-49, March.
  4. Christian Haefke & Marcus Sonntag & Thijs van Rens, 2007. "Wage rigidity and job creation," Economics Working Papers 1047, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Apr 2012.
  5. Russell Cooper & John Haltiwanger & Jonathan L. Willis, 2007. "Implications of Search Frictions: Matching Aggregate and Establishment-level Observations," NBER Working Papers 13115, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Christopher Pissarides, 2007. "The unemployment volatility puzzle: is wage stickiness the answer?," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 4460, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  7. Manuel Toledo & Jose I. Silva, 2005. "Labor Turnover Costs and the Cyclical Behavior of Vacancies and Unemployment," 2005 Meeting Papers 775, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  8. Shigeru Fujita & Garey Ramey, 2006. "The cyclicality of job loss and hiring," Working Papers 06-17, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  9. Rotemberg, Julio J., 2006. "Cyclical Wages in a Search-and-Bargaining Model with Large Firms," CEPR Discussion Papers 5791, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. Russell Cooper & John Haltiwanger & Jonathan L. Willis, 2003. "Dynamics of labor demand : evidence from plant-level observations and aggregate implications," Research Working Paper RWP 03-12, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
  11. William Hawkins & Daron Acemoglu, 2007. "Equilibrium Unemployment in a Generalized Search Model," 2007 Meeting Papers 384, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  12. Michael W. Elsby & Ryan Michaels & Gary Solon, 2007. "The Ins and Outs of Cyclical Unemployment," NBER Working Papers 12853, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Bruce Fallick & Charles A. Fleischman, 2004. "Employer-to-employer flows in the U.S. labor market: the complete picture of gross worker flows," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2004-34, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  14. Robert Shimer, 2007. "Reassessing the Ins and Outs of Unemployment," NBER Working Papers 13421, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Bart Hobijn & Ayşegül Şahin, 2013. "Firms And Flexibility," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 51(1), pages 922-940, 01.
  16. Robert Shimer, 2004. "The Consequences of Rigid Wages in Search Models," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 2(2-3), pages 469-479, 04/05.
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