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The Cyclical Behavior of Equilibrium Unemployment and Vacancies in the US and Europe

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  • Alejandro Justiniano
  • Claudio Michelacci

Abstract

We set-up a real business cycle model with search and matching frictions driven by several shocks, which nests full Nash Bargaining and wage rigidity as special cases and includes other transmission mechanisms suggested by the literature for the propagation and amplification of disturbances. The model is estimated using full information methods for two Anglo-Saxon countries (the US and the UK), two Continental European countries (France and Germany) and two Scandinavian countries (Norway and Sweden). We conduct inference with mixed frequency data, combining quarterly series for unemployment, vacancies, GDP, consumption, and investment, with annual data on unemployment flows. Parameters and shocks are estimated separately for each country, which can then vary in terms of search and hiring costs, workers' bargaining power, unemployment benefits levels, wage rigidity and the stochastic properties of disturbances. Overall, the structural model accounts reasonably well for differences in labor market dynamics observed between the two sides of the Atlantic and within Europe. Our estimates indicate that there is considerable cross-country variation in the contribution of technology shocks to the cyclical fluctuations of the labor market. Technology shocks alone replicate remarkably well the volatility in vacancies, unemployment and finding probabilities observed in US, with mixed success in Europe. In contrast, matching shocks and job destruction shocks play a larger role in most European countries relative to the US.

Suggested Citation

  • Alejandro Justiniano & Claudio Michelacci, 2011. "The Cyclical Behavior of Equilibrium Unemployment and Vacancies in the US and Europe," NBER Working Papers 17429, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:17429
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    Cited by:

    1. Amaral, Pedro S. & Tasci, Murat, 2016. "The cyclical behavior of equilibrium unemployment and vacancies across OECD countries," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 84(C), pages 184-201.
    2. Francesco Furlanetto & Nicolas Groshenny, 2012. "Matching efficiency and business cycle fluctuations," Working Paper 2012/07, Norges Bank.
    3. Francesco Furlanetto & Nicolas Groshenny, 2016. "Mismatch Shocks and Unemployment During the Great Recession," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 31(7), pages 1197-1214, November.
    4. Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin S. Eichenbaum & Mathias Trabandt, 2016. "Unemployment and Business Cycles," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 84(4), pages 1523-1569, July.
    5. Liu, Zheng & Miao, Jianjun & Zha, Tao, 2016. "Land prices and unemployment," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 80(C), pages 86-105.
    6. Gabriele Cardullo & Marco Guerrazzi, 2016. "The Cyclical Volatility of Equilibrium Unemployment and Vacancies: Evidence From Italy," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 30(4), pages 433-454, December.
    7. Josué Diwambuena & Raquel Fonseca & Stefan Schubert, 2021. "Italian Labour Frictions and Wage Rigidities in an Estimated DSGE," BEMPS - Bozen Economics & Management Paper Series BEMPS88, Faculty of Economics and Management at the Free University of Bozen.
    8. Hairault, Jean-Olivier & Zhutova, Anastasia, 2018. "The cyclicality of labor-market flows: A multiple-shock approach," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 103(C), pages 150-172.
    9. Meradj Mortezapouraghdam, 2016. "Three Essays on the Role of Frictions in the Economy," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/293qice3lj8, Sciences Po.
    10. repec:hal:spmain:info:hdl:2441/293qice3lj861rvos9ns14n0h0 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Guglielminetti, Elisa & Pouraghdam, Meradj, 2018. "Time-varying job creation and macroeconomic shocks," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 156-179.
    12. Meradj Morteza Pouraghdam, 2016. "Three essays on the role of frictions in the economy [Trois essais sur le rôle du désaccord en économie]," SciencePo Working papers tel-03498781, HAL.
    13. Charpe, Matthieu & Kühn, Stefan, 2012. "Bargaining, Aggregate Demand and Employment," MPRA Paper 40189, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    14. Kaas, Leo & Pintus, Patrick A. & Ray, Simon, 2016. "Land collateral and labor market dynamics in France," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 84(C), pages 202-218.
    15. Francesco Furlanetto & Nicolas Groshenny, "undated". "Mismatch Shocks and Unemployment During the Great Recession," School of Economics Working Papers 2015-14, University of Adelaide, School of Economics.
    16. Zaveh, Fakhraldin, 2014. "Search, Rigidities and Unemployment Dynamics," EconStor Preprints 157661, ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics.
    17. Furlanetto, Francesco & Groshenny, Nicolas, 2016. "Reallocation shocks, persistence and nominal rigidities," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 141(C), pages 151-155.
    18. Lewis, Vivien & Villa, Stefania & Wolters, Maik H., 2019. "Labor productivity, effort and the euro area business cycle," Discussion Papers 44/2019, Deutsche Bundesbank.
    19. Charpe, Matthieu & Kühn, Stefan, 2015. "Demand and supply effects of bargaining power shocks," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 21-32.
    20. Cheuk Yin Ho, 2014. "Can the baseline search and matching model quantitatively explain Okun's law?," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 46(31), pages 3828-3835, November.

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    JEL classification:

    • E0 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General
    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity

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