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Efficient Search on the Job and the Business Cycle

  • Guido Menzio

    ()

    (Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania)

  • Shouyong Shi

    ()

    (Department of Economics, University of Toronto)

We build a directed search model of the labor market in which workers’ transitions between unemployment, employment, and across employers are endogenous. We prove the existence, uniqueness and efficiency of a recursive equilibrium with the property that the distribution of workers across employment states does not affect the agents’ values and strategies. Because of this property, we are able to compute the equilibrium outside the non-stochastic steady-state. We use a calibrated version of the model to measure the effect of productivity shocks on the US labor market. We find that productivity shocks generate procyclical fluctuations in the rate at which unemployed workers become employed and countercyclical fluctuations in the rate at which employed workers become unemployed. Moreover, we find that productivity shocks generate large countercyclical fluctuations in the number of vacancies opened for unemployed workers and even larger procyclical fluctuations in the number of vacancies created for employed workers. Overall, productivity shocks alone can account for 80 percent of unemployment volatility, 30 percent of vacancy volatility and for the nearly perfect negative correlation between unemployment and vacancies.

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File URL: http://economics.sas.upenn.edu/system/files/working-papers/08-029.pdf
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Paper provided by Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania in its series PIER Working Paper Archive with number 08-029.

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Length: 50 pages
Date of creation: 11 Aug 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:pen:papers:08-029
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  1. Guido Menzio & Shouyong Shi, 2011. "Efficient Search on the Job and the Business Cycle," Working Papers tecipa-437, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
  2. Francisco M. Gonzalez & Shouyong Shi, 2009. "An Equilibrium Theory of Learning, Search and Wages," Working Papers tecipa-384, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
  3. Christopher A. Pissarides, 1994. "Search Unemployment with On-the-job Search," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 61(3), pages 457-475.
  4. Shimer, Robert, 2006. "On-the-job search and strategic bargaining," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 50(4), pages 811-830, May.
  5. Guido Menzio & Espen R. Moen, 2010. "Worker replacement," NBER Working Papers 15983, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Margaret Stevens, 2004. "Wage-Tenure Contracts in a Frictional Labour Market: Firms' Strategies for Recruitment and Retention," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 71(2), pages 535-551.
  7. Dale T. Mortensen & Eva Nagypal, 2005. "More on Unemployment and Vacancy Fluctuations," NBER Working Papers 11692, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Fabien Postel-Vinay & Jean-Marc Robin, 2002. "Equilibrium Wage Dispersion with Worker and Employer Heterogeneity," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/c8dmi8nm4pd, Sciences Po.
  9. Guido Menzio, 2007. "A Theory of Partially Directed Search," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 115(5), pages 748-769, October.
  10. Guido Menzio & Shouyong Shi, 2010. "Directed Search on the Job, Heterogeneity, and Aggregate Fluctuations," Working Papers tecipa-390, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
  11. Robert E. Hall, 2005. "Employment Fluctuations with Equilibrium Wage Stickiness," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 50-65, March.
  12. Shouyong Shi, 2009. "Directed Search for Equilibrium Wage-Tenure Contracts," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 77(2), pages 561-584, 03.
  13. Shouyong Shi & Guido Menzio, 2009. "Block Recursive Equilibria for Stochastic Models of Search on the Job," 2009 Meeting Papers 177, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  14. Krause, Michael U. & Lubik, Thomas A., 2007. "On-the-job search and the cyclical dynamics of the labor market," Working Paper Series 0779, European Central Bank.
  15. Mortensen, Dale T., 1994. "The cyclical behavior of job and worker flows," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 18(6), pages 1121-1142, November.
  16. Dale T. Mortensen & Christopher A. Pissarides, 1993. "Job Creation and Job Destruction in the Theory of Unemployment," CEP Discussion Papers dp0110, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  17. Espen R. Moen & Åsa Rosén, 2004. "Does Poaching Distort Training?," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 71(4), pages 1143-1162.
  18. Fabien Postel-Vinay & Giuseppe Moscarini, 2009. "Non-Stationary Search Equilibrium," 2009 Meeting Papers 31, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  19. Gadi Barlevy, 2002. "The Sullying Effect of Recessions," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 69(1), pages 65-96.
  20. Robert E. Hall & Alan B. Krueger, 2008. "Wage Formation between Newly Hired Workers and Employers: Survey Evidence," NBER Working Papers 14329, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  21. repec:oup:restud:v:77:y:2010:i:2:p:633-664 is not listed on IDEAS
  22. John Kennan, 2005. "Private Information, Wage Bargaining and Employment Fluctuations," 2005 Meeting Papers 555, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  23. Gary Solon & Ryan Michaels & Michael W. L. Elsby, 2009. "The Ins and Outs of Cyclical Unemployment," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 1(1), pages 84-110, January.
  24. Ken Burdett & Melvyn Coles, 2003. "Equilibrium Wage-Tenure Contracts," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(5), pages 1377-1404, 09.
  25. Peters, Michael, 1991. "Ex Ante Price Offers in Matching Games Non-steady States," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(5), pages 1425-54, September.
  26. repec:cdl:ucsdec:qt0qb196qd is not listed on IDEAS
  27. repec:inr:wpaper:155908 is not listed on IDEAS
  28. Alain Delacroix & Shouyong Shi, 2003. "Directed Search On the Job and the Wage Ladder," Working Papers shouyong-03-04, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
  29. James D. Montgomery, 1991. "Equilibrium Wage Dispersion and Interindustry Wage Differentials," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(1), pages 163-179.
  30. Kenneth Burdett & Shouyong Shi & Randall Wright, 2001. "Pricing and Matching with Frictions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 109(5), pages 1060-1085, October.
  31. Guido Menzio & Shouyong Shi, 2008. "Efficient Search on the Job and the Business Cycle, Second Version," PIER Working Paper Archive 09-010, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania, revised 28 Feb 2009.
  32. Moen, E.R., 1995. "Competitive Search Equilibrium," Memorandum 37/1995, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
  33. Enchuan Shao & Pedro Silos, 2008. "Firm entry and labor market dynamics," FRB Atlanta Working Paper 2008-17, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  34. Merz, Monika, 1995. "Search in the labor market and the real business cycle," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 269-300, November.
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