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Empirical Matching Functions: Estimation and Interpretation Using Disaggregate Data

  • Patricia M. Anderson
  • Simon M. Burgess

In this paper, we estimate matching functions using disaggregate data. We find strong support for the matching approach, with most specifications implying slightly increasing returns to scale. This finding does not appear to arise from our inclusion of additional controls or from the level of disaggregation, and so we conclude that earlier findings of constant returns in the US may be due to the various approximations needed to construct an aggregate time series. We also find evidence of endogenous job competition between the employed and nonemployed, so that the estimated parameters from a matching function cannot be interpreted as structural parameters.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 5001.

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Date of creation: Jan 1995
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Review of Economics and Statistics, Vol. 82 (February 2000): 93-102.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:5001
Note: LS
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  1. Burgess, Simon M, 1993. "A Model of Competition between Unemployed and Employed Job Searchers: An Application to the Unemployment Outflow Rate in Britain," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 103(420), pages 1190-204, September.
  2. Robert Gibbons & Lawrence Katz, 1989. "Layoffs and Lemons," Working Papers 629, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  3. Mortensen, Dale T., 1987. "Job search and labor market analysis," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & R. Layard (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 15, pages 849-919 Elsevier.
  4. Peter A. Diamond & Eric Maskin, 1979. "An Equilibrium Analysis of Search and Breach of Contract, I: Steady States," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 10(1), pages 282-316, Spring.
  5. Dale T. Mortensen, 1982. "The Matching Process as a Noncooperative Bargaining Game," NBER Chapters, in: The Economics of Information and Uncertainty, pages 233-258 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. 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.
  7. Blau, David M & Robins, Philip K, 1990. "Job Search Outcomes for the Employed and Unemployed," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(3), pages 637-55, June.
  8. P. Diamond, 1980. "Aggregate Demand Management in Search Equilibrium," Working papers 268, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  9. Rebecca M. Blank & David Card, 1989. "Recent Trends in Insured and Uninsured Unemployment: Is There an Explanation?," NBER Working Papers 2871, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Pissarides, Christopher A, 1985. "Short-run Equilibrium Dynamics of Unemployment Vacancies, and Real Wages," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(4), pages 676-90, September.
  11. Hosios, Arthur J, 1990. "On the Efficiency of Matching and Related Models of Search and Unemployment," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 57(2), pages 279-98, April.
  12. Gottschalk, Peter & Maloney, Tim, 1985. "Involuntary Terminations, Unemployment, and Job Matching: A Test of Job Search Theory," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 3(2), pages 109-23, April.
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