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The Flow Approach to Labor Markets

  • Olivier Jean Blanchard
  • Peter Diamond

The "flow approach" to labor markets builds up from the flows of workers and of jobs. It is based on three essential components, a specification of labor demand in terms of flows of job creation/destruction, a process of matching between workers and firms, and a process of wage determination where wages depend on the labor market prospects of employed workers and firms, We think that this approach gives the right basic picture of unemployment and unemployment dynamics, and of the relation between wage movements and the state of the labor market. The additional richness it naturally delivers also captures important implications of labor market mechanisms for macroeconomics. Finally, its structure is realistic enough to allow for a productive interaction with - and use of - micro-work and micro-evidence in both labor and product markets. This paper shows the structure of the approach and some of its implications. The first section develops a barebone model; the second adds the flesh.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 4000.

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Date of creation: Feb 1992
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Publication status: published as American Economic Review Papers and Proceedings, May 1992, pp. 354-359
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:4000
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  1. Shapiro, Carl & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1984. "Equilibrium Unemployment as a Worker Discipline Device," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(3), pages 433-44, June.
  2. Oliver Jean Blanchard & Peter Diamond, 1989. "The Beveridge Curve," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 20(1), pages 1-76.
  3. Mortensen, Dale T, 1989. " The Persistence and Indeterminancy of Unemployment in Search Equilibrium," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 91(2), pages 347-70.
  4. Steven J. Davis & John Haltiwanger, 1990. "Gross Job Creation and Destruction: Microeconomic Evidence and Macroeconomic Implications," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1990, Volume 5, pages 123-186 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Peter A. Diamond, 1982. "Wage Determination and Efficiency in Search Equilibrium," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 49(2), pages 217-227.
  6. repec:nbr:nberre:0126 is not listed on IDEAS
  7. Blanchard, Olivier Jean, 1991. "Wage Bargaining and Unemployment Persistence," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 23(3), pages 277-92, August.
  8. Oliver Jean Blanchard & Peter Diamond, 1990. "The Cyclical Behovior of the Gross Flows of U.S. Workers," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 21(2), pages 85-156.
  9. Taylor, John B, 1980. "Aggregate Dynamics and Staggered Contracts," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 88(1), pages 1-23, February.
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