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Wage Determination and Employment Fluctuations

  • Robert E. Hall

Following a recession, the aggregate labor market is slack employment remains below normal and recruiting efforts of employers, as measured by vacancies, are low. A model of matching frictions explains the qualitative responses of the labor market to adverse shocks, but requires implausibly large shocks to account for the magnitude of observed fluctuations. The incorporation of wage-setting frictions vastly increases the sensitivity of the model to driving forces. I develop a new model of wage friction. The friction arises in an economic equilibrium and satisfies the condition that no worker-employer pair has an unexploited opportunity for mutual improvement. The wage friction neither interferes with the efficient formation of employment matches nor causes inefficient job loss. Thus it provides an answer to the fundamental criticism previously directed at sticky-wage models of fluctuations.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 9967.

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Date of creation: Sep 2003
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Publication status: published as Hall, Robert E. "Employment Fluctuations With Equilibrium Wage Stickiness," American Economic Review, 2005, v95(1,Mar), 50-65.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:9967
Note: EFG LS
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  1. Mortensen, Dale T, 1982. "Property Rights and Efficiency in Mating, Racing, and Related Games," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(5), pages 968-79, December.
  2. 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.
  3. Robert Shimer, 2005. "The Cyclical Behavior of Equilibrium Unemployment and Vacancies," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 25-49, March.
  4. George A. Akerlof & William R. Dickens & George L. Perry, 1996. "The Macroeconomics of Low Inflation," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 27(1), pages 1-76.
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  6. Abraham, Katharine G & Katz, Lawrence F, 1986. "Cyclical Unemployment: Sectoral Shifts or Aggregate Disturbances?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(3), pages 507-22, June.
  7. Thomas, Jonathan & Worrall, Tim, 1988. "Self-enforcing Wage Contracts," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(4), pages 541-54, October.
  8. Diamond, Peter A, 1982. "Aggregate Demand Management in Search Equilibrium," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 90(5), pages 881-94, October.
  9. Nash, John, 1953. "Two-Person Cooperative Games," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 21(1), pages 128-140, April.
  10. Calvo, Guillermo A., 1983. "Staggered prices in a utility-maximizing framework," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 383-398, September.
  11. Thomas J. Sargent, 1981. "The ends of four big inflations," Working Papers 158, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  12. Barro, Robert J., 1977. "Long-term contracting, sticky prices, and monetary policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(3), pages 305-316, July.
  13. 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.
  14. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1972. "Expectations and the neutrality of money," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 103-124, April.
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