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Mismatch Unemployment and the Geography of Job Search

Author

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  • Ioana Marinescu
  • Roland Rathelot

Abstract

Could we significantly reduce U.S. unemployment by helping job seekers move closer to jobs? Using data from the leading employment board CareerBuilder.com, we show that, indeed, workers dislike applying to distant jobs: job seekers are 35% less likely to apply to a job 10 miles away from their ZIP code of residence. However, because job seekers are close enough to vacancies on average, this distaste for distance is fairly inconsequential: our search and matching model predicts that relocating job seekers to minimize unemployment would decrease unemployment by only 5.3%. Geographic mismatch is thus a minor driver of aggregate unemployment.

Suggested Citation

  • Ioana Marinescu & Roland Rathelot, 2016. "Mismatch Unemployment and the Geography of Job Search," NBER Working Papers 22672, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:22672
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Olof Åslund & John Östh & Yves Zenou, 2010. "How important is access to jobs? Old question--improved answer," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 10(3), pages 389-422, May.
    2. Bruno Crépon & Esther Duflo & Marc Gurgand & Roland Rathelot & Philippe Zamora, 2013. "Do Labor Market Policies have Displacement Effects? Evidence from a Clustered Randomized Experiment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 128(2), pages 531-580.
    3. Regis Barnichon & Andrew Figura, 2015. "Labor Market Heterogeneity and the Aggregate Matching Function," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 7(4), pages 222-249, October.
    4. Abigail Wozniak, 2010. "Are College Graduates More Responsive to Distant Labor Market Opportunities?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 45(4), pages 944-970.
    5. Paulo Guimarães & Pedro Portugal, 2010. "A simple feasible procedure to fit models with high-dimensional fixed effects," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 10(4), pages 628-649, December.
    6. Herz, Benedikt & van Rens, Thijs, 2015. "Accounting for Mismatch Unemployment," IZA Discussion Papers 8884, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    7. Rachel M. Friedberg & Jennifer Hunt, 1995. "The Impact of Immigrants on Host Country Wages, Employment and Growth," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(2), pages 23-44, Spring.
    8. Marinescu, Ioana E. & Wolthoff, Ronald P., 2015. "Opening the Black Box of the Matching Function: The Power of Words," IZA Discussion Papers 9071, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    9. Gianmarco I.P. Ottaviano & Giovanni Peri, 2016. "The economic value of cultural diversity: evidence from US cities," World Scientific Book Chapters,in: The Economics of International Migration, chapter 7, pages 229-264 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    10. Matias Busso & Jesse Gregory & Patrick Kline, 2013. "Assessing the Incidence and Efficiency of a Prominent Place Based Policy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(2), pages 897-947, April.
    11. Gadi Barlevy, 2011. "Evaluating the role of labor market mismatch in rising unemployment," Economic Perspectives, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, issue Q III, pages 82-96.
    12. Henry S. Farber, 2012. "Unemployment in the Great Recession: Did the Housing Market Crisis Prevent the Unemployed from Moving to Take Jobs?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(3), pages 520-525, May.
    13. Maxim Poletaev & Chris Robinson, 2008. "Human Capital Specificity: Evidence from the Dictionary of Occupational Titles and Displaced Worker Surveys, 1984-2000," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 26(3), pages 387-420, July.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Marinescu, Ioana, 2017. "The general equilibrium impacts of unemployment insurance: Evidence from a large online job board," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 150(C), pages 14-29.
    2. Belot, Michele & Kircher, Philipp & Muller, Paul, 2015. "Providing Advice to Job Seekers at Low Cost: An Experimental Study on On-Line Advice," Working Papers in Economics 637, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
    3. Aico van Vuuren, 2015. "On-the-Job Search and City Structure," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 15-016/VI, Tinbergen Institute.
    4. Marinescu, Ioana E. & Wolthoff, Ronald P., 2015. "Opening the Black Box of the Matching Function: The Power of Words," IZA Discussion Papers 9071, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    5. Philipp Kircher & Paul Muller & Michele Belot, 2017. "How Wage Announcements Affect Job Search Behaviour - A Field Experimental Investigation," 2017 Meeting Papers 722, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    6. Vera Brenčič, 2016. "The impact of Craigslist’s entry on competing employment websites," IZA Journal of Labor Economics, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 5(1), pages 1-15, December.
    7. Faberman, R. Jason & Kudlyak, Marianna, 2016. "What Does Online Job Search Tell Us about the Labor Market?," Economic Perspectives, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, issue 1, pages 1-15.
    8. Roberto Galbiati & Aurélie Ouss & Arnaud Philippe, 2015. "Jobs, News and Re-offending after Incarceration," Sciences Po publications 41, Sciences Po.
    9. Herz, Benedikt & van Rens, Thijs, 2015. "Accounting for Mismatch Employment," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 1061, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
    10. Tara Sinclair & Mariano Mamertino, 2016. "Online Job Search and Migration Intentions Across EU Member States," Working Papers 2016-5, The George Washington University, Institute for International Economic Policy.
    11. Claudia Macaluso, 2017. "Skill Remoteness and Post-layoff Labor Market Outcomes," 2017 Meeting Papers 569, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    12. Ronald Wolthoff, 2014. "Applications and Interviews: Firms' Recruiting Decisions in a Frictional Labor Market," Working Papers tecipa-522, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
    13. Parkhomenko, Andrii, 2016. "Opportunity to Move: Macroeconomic Effects of Relocation Subsidies," MPRA Paper 75256, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    14. repec:oup:restud:v:85:y:2018:i:2:p:1314-1351. is not listed on IDEAS

    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
    • J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
    • J62 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Job, Occupational and Intergenerational Mobility; Promotion
    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search

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