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The Supply of Skills in the Labor Force and Aggregate Output Volatility

  • Steven Lugauer

    ()

    (Department of Economics, University of Notre Dame)

The cyclical volatility of U.S. gross domestic product suddenly declined during the early 1980s and remained low for over 20 years. I develop a labor search model with worker heterogeneity and match-specific costs to show how an increase in the supply of high-skill workers can contribute to a decrease in aggregate output volatility. In the model, firms react to changes in the distribution of skills by creating jobs designed specifically for high-skill workers. The new worker-firm matches are more profitable and less likely to break apart due to productivity shocks. Aggregate output volatility falls because the labor market stabilizes on the extensive margin. In a simple calibration exercise, the labor market based mechanism generates a substantial portion of the observed changes in output volatility.

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File URL: http://www3.nd.edu/~tjohns20/RePEc/deendus/wpaper/005_skills.pdf
File Function: First version, 2012
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Paper provided by University of Notre Dame, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 005.

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Length: 55 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2012
Date of revision: Jun 2012
Handle: RePEc:nod:wpaper:005
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  1. Daron Acemoglu, 1999. "Changes in Unemployment and Wage Inequality: An Alternative Theory and Some Evidence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(5), pages 1259-1278, December.
  2. Daniele Coen-Pirani & Alexis León & Steven Lugauer, . "The Effect of Household Appliances on Female Labor Force Participation: Evidence from Micro Data," GSIA Working Papers 2008-E14, Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business.
  3. James Feyrer, 2007. "Demographics and Productivity," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 89(1), pages 100-109, February.
  4. Nir Jaimovich & Henry E. Siu, 2007. "The young, the old, and the restless: demographics and business cycle volatility," Staff Report 387, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  5. Mortensen, Dale & Pissarides, Christopher, 2011. "Job Creation and Job Destruction in the Theory of Unemployment," Economic Policy, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration, vol. 1, pages 19 pages.
  6. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1982. "Time to Build and Aggregate Fluctuations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(6), pages 1345-70, November.
  7. Steven Lugauer & Nelson Mark, 2010. "Demographic Patterns and Household Saving in China," Working Papers 007, University of Notre Dame, Department of Economics, revised Jun 2012.
  8. Diego Comin & Thomas Philippon, 2005. "The Rise in Firm-Level Volatility: Causes and Consequences," NBER Working Papers 11388, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Steven J. Davis & James A. Kahn, 2008. "Interpreting the Great Moderation: Changes in the Volatility of Economic Activity at the Macro and Micro Levels," NBER Working Papers 14048, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. CASTRO, Rui & COEN-PIRANI, Daniele, 2005. "Why Have Aggregate Skilled Hours Become So Cyclical Since the Mid-1980's?," Cahiers de recherche 2005-19, Universite de Montreal, Departement de sciences economiques.
  11. Chang-Jin Kim & Charles R. Nelson, 1999. "Has The U.S. Economy Become More Stable? A Bayesian Approach Based On A Markov-Switching Model Of The Business Cycle," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 81(4), pages 608-616, November.
  12. Guido Cazzavillan & Krzysztof Olszewski, 2009. "Skill-biased technological change and endogenous labor supply in EU Transition Economies and the US," Working Papers 2009_12, Department of Economics, University of Venice "Ca' Foscari".
  13. Daron Acemoglu, 2002. "Technical Change, Inequality, and the Labor Market," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 40(1), pages 7-72, March.
  14. Robert Shimer, 2001. "The Impact of Young Workers on the Aggregate Labor Market," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(3), pages 969-1007.
  15. Fujita, Shigeru, 2011. "Declining labor turnover and turbulence," Working Papers 11-44, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  16. Lawrence F. Katz & Kevin M. Murphy, 1991. "Changes in Relative Wages, 1963-1987: Supply and Demand Factors," NBER Working Papers 3927, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Robert E. Hall, 2005. "Employment Fluctuations with Equilibrium Wage Stickiness," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 50-65, March.
  18. Lugauer, Steven, 2012. "Demographic Change And The Great Moderation In An Overlapping Generations Model With Matching Frictions," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 16(05), pages 706-731, November.
  19. Steven Lugauer & Richard Jensen & Clayton Sadler, 2014. "An Estimate Of The Age Distribution'S Effect On Carbon Dioxide Emissions," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 52(2), pages 914-929, 04.
  20. Steven Lugauer, 2012. "Estimating the Effect of the Age Distribution on Cyclical Output Volatility Across the United States," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 94(4), pages 896-902, November.
  21. Lugauer, Steven & Redmond, Michael, 2012. "The age distribution and business cycle volatility: International evidence," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 117(3), pages 694-696.
  22. Robert Shimer, 2005. "The Cyclical Behavior of Equilibrium Unemployment and Vacancies," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 25-49, March.
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