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Firm and Worker Dynamics in a Frictional Labor Market

Author

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  • Adrien G. Bilal
  • Niklas Engbom
  • Simon Mongey
  • Giovanni L. Violante

Abstract

This paper develops a random-matching model of a frictional labor market with firm and worker dynamics. Multi-worker firms choose whether to shrink or expand their employment in response to shocks to their decreasing returns to scale technology. Growing entails posting costly vacancies, which are filled either by the unemployed or by employees poached from other firms. Firms also choose when to enter and exit the market. Tractability is obtained by proving that, under a parsimonious set of assumptions, all workers’ and firm decisions are characterized by their joint marginal surplus, which in turn only depends on the firm’s productivity and size. As frictions vanish, the model converges to a standard competitive model of firm dynamics which allows a quantification of the misallocation cost of labor market frictions. An estimated version of the model yields cross-sectional patterns of net poaching by firm characteristics (e.g., age and size) that are in line with the micro data. The model also generates a drop in job-to-job transitions as firm entry declines, offering an interpretation to U.S. labor market dynamics around the Great Recession. All these outcomes are a reflection of the job ladder in marginal surplus that emerges in equilibrium.

Suggested Citation

  • Adrien G. Bilal & Niklas Engbom & Simon Mongey & Giovanni L. Violante, 2019. "Firm and Worker Dynamics in a Frictional Labor Market," NBER Working Papers 26547, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:26547
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. John C. Haltiwanger & Henry R. Hyatt & Lisa B. Kahn & Erika McEntarfer, 2018. "Cyclical Job Ladders by Firm Size and Firm Wage," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 10(2), pages 52-85, April.
    2. Nobuhiro Kiyotaki & Ricardo Lagos, 2007. "A Model of Job and Worker Flows," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 115(5), pages 770-819, October.
    3. Gian Luca Clementi & Dino Palazzo, 2010. "Entry, Exit, Firm Dynamics, and Aggregate Fluctuations," Working Paper series 27_10, Rimini Centre for Economic Analysis.
    4. Gian Luca Clementi & Dino Palazzo, 2010. "Entry, Exit, Firm Dynamics, and Aggregate Fluctuations," Working Papers 10-16, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics.
    5. Dino Palazzo & Gian Luca Clementi, 2010. "Entry, Exit, Firm Dynamics, and Aggregate Fluctuations," 2010 Meeting Papers 1188, Society for Economic Dynamics.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Hassan Afrouzi, 2020. "Strategic Inattention, Inflation Dynamics, and the Non-Neutrality of Money," CESifo Working Paper Series 8218, CESifo.
    2. Engbom, Niklas & Moser, Christian, 2020. "Firm Pay Dynamics," MPRA Paper 98477, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Ryan Michaels & David Ratner & Michael Elsby, 2016. "Vacancy Chains," 2016 Meeting Papers 753, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    4. Satoshi Tanaka & Lawrence Warren & David Wiczer, 2020. "Earnings Growth, Job Flows and Churn," Working Papers 20-15, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    5. Niklas Engbom, 2019. "Firm and Worker Dynamics in an Aging Labor Market," Working Papers 756, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, revised 10 Apr 2019.

    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
    • 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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