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On the Cyclicality of Labor Market Mismatch and Aggregate Employment Flows

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  • Kenneth Beauchemin
  • Murat Tasci

Abstract

This paper combines a discrete-time dynamic general equilibrium articulation of the standard model of labor market search with observed U.S. time series measures on employment, vacancies, and aggregate output to uncover the cyclical properties of three unobserved forcing variables that comprise the exogenous state of the aggregate labor market: labor productivity, the rate of job separation, and the allocational efficiency of the labor market. We posit the latter variable to be inversely related to the degree of mismatch in the pool of searching workers and vacancies, given numbers of each, and identify its movements as scalar shifts in the standard matching function. Given that the model exactly reconciles observed net employment changes, our procedure also implies measured time series of the flows into and out of employment. We find that labor productivity, the job separation rate and allocational efficiency are all procyclical with the latter two highly variable. These cyclical patterns lead to procyclical implied gross employment flows, thereby concentrating labor force reallocation during booms. We discuss the implications for conventional views of business cycle fluctuations and for the standard search theories of labor market behavior.

Suggested Citation

  • Kenneth Beauchemin & Murat Tasci, 2005. "On the Cyclicality of Labor Market Mismatch and Aggregate Employment Flows," Discussion Papers 05-01, University at Albany, SUNY, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:nya:albaec:05-01
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    File URL: http://www.albany.edu/economics/research/workingp/2005/mismatch.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    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
    • J40 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - General

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