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On the Cyclicality of Labor Market Mismatch and Aggregate Employment Flows

  • Kenneth Beauchemin
  • Murat Tasci

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.

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Paper provided by University at Albany, SUNY, Department of Economics in its series Discussion Papers with number 05-01.

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Date of creation: 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:nya:albaec:05-01
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Department of Economics, BA 110 University at Albany State University of New York Albany, NY 12222 U.S.A.

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Order Information: Postal: Department of Economics, BA 110 University at Albany State University of New York Albany, NY 12222 U.S.A.
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  3. Steven J. Davis & John Haltiwanger, 1992. "Gross Job Creation, Gross Job Destruction, and Employment Reallocation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(3), pages 819-863.
  4. Barbara Petrongolo & Christopher A. Pissarides, 2000. "Looking Into the Black Box: A Survey of the Matching Function," CEP Discussion Papers dp0470, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
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  6. Harold L. Cole & Richard Rogerson, 1996. "Can the Mortonson-Pissarides matching model match the business cycle facts?," Staff Report 224, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  7. Abraham, Katharine G. & Katz, Lawrence F., 1986. "Cyclical Unemployment: Sectoral Shifts or Aggregate Disturbances?," Scholarly Articles 3442781, Harvard University Department of Economics.
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  9. Robert Shimer, 2003. "The Cyclical Behavior of Equilibrium Unemployment and Vacancies: Evidence and Theory," NBER Working Papers 9536, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  16. van Ours, J.C. & Ridder, G., 1992. "Vacancies and recruitment of new employees," Other publications TiSEM 9acc708a-0885-46a2-aef5-7, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
  17. Finn E. Kydland, 1993. "Business cycles and aggregate labor-market fluctuations," Working Paper 9312, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
  18. Lilien, David M, 1982. "Sectoral Shifts and Cyclical Unemployment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 90(4), pages 777-93, August.
  19. Lee, Bong-Soo & Ingram, Beth Fisher, 1991. "Simulation estimation of time-series models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 47(2-3), pages 197-205, February.
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  23. Arthur J. Hosios, 1990. "On The Efficiency of Matching and Related Models of Search and Unemployment," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 57(2), pages 279-298.
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