IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/pen/papers/18-005.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Declining Search Frictions, Unemployment and Growth

Author

Listed:
  • Paolo Martellini

    () (Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania)

  • Guido Menzio

    (Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania)

Abstract

Over the last century, unemployment, vacancy, job-ï¬ nding and job-loss rates as well as the Beveridge curve have no trend. Yet, the last century has seen the development and diffusion of many information technologies—such as telephones, fax machines, computers, the Internet—which presumably have increased the efï¬ ciency of search in the labor market. We explain this phenomenon using a textbook search-theoretic model of the labor market. We show that there exists an equilibrium in which unemployment, vacancies, job-ï¬ nding and job-loss rates are constant while the search technology improves over time if and only if ï¬ rm-worker matches are heterogeneous in quality, the distribution of match qualities is Pareto, and the quality of a match is observed before the start of the employment relationship. Under these conditions, improvements in search lead to an increase in the rate at which workers meet ï¬ rms and to a proportional decline in the probability that the quality of a ï¬ rm-worker match is acceptable leading to a constant job-ï¬ nding rate, unemployment, etc... Interestingly, under the same conditions, unemployment, vacancies, job-ï¬ nding and job-loss rates are independent of the size of the labor market even in the presence of increasing returns to scale in search. While declining search frictions do not lower unemployment, they contribute to growth. The magnitude of the contribution depends on the thickness of the tail of the Pareto distribution. We present a simple strategy to measure the decline in search frictions and its contribution to growth. A rudimentary implementation of this strategy suggests that the decline in search frictions has been substantial, it has been caused by both improvements in the search technology and increasing returns to scale in the search process, and it has had a non-negligible impact on growth.

Suggested Citation

  • Paolo Martellini & Guido Menzio, 2018. "Declining Search Frictions, Unemployment and Growth," PIER Working Paper Archive 18-005, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania, revised 09 Apr 2018.
  • Handle: RePEc:pen:papers:18-005
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://economics.sas.upenn.edu/system/files/working-papers/18-005%20PIER%20Paper%20Submission%20R.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Gene M. Grossman & Elhanan Helpman & Ezra Oberfield & Thomas Sampson, 2017. "Balanced Growth Despite Uzawa," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 107(4), pages 1293-1312, April.
    2. repec:aea:aecrev:v:108:y:2018:i:8:p:2088-2127 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. 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 1-19.
    4. Menzio, Guido & Shi, Shouyong, 2010. "Block recursive equilibria for stochastic models of search on the job," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 145(4), pages 1453-1494, July.
    5. Robert E. Lucas Jr. & Benjamin Moll, 2014. "Knowledge Growth and the Allocation of Time," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 122(1), pages 1-51.
    6. repec:eee:labeco:v:50:y:2018:i:c:p:67-79 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Jesper Bagger & Fran?ois Fontaine & Fabien Postel-Vinay & Jean-Marc Robin, 2014. "Tenure, Experience, Human Capital, and Wages: A Tractable Equilibrium Search Model of Wage Dynamics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(6), pages 1551-1596, June.
    8. Barbara Petrongolo & Christopher Pissarides, 2006. "Scale Effects in Markets with Search," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 116(508), pages 21-44, January.
    9. Alessandro Gavazza & Simon Mongey & Giovanni L. Violante, 2018. "Aggregate Recruiting Intensity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 108(8), pages 2088-2127, August.
    10. Florian Sniekers, 2018. "Persistence And Volatility Of Beveridge Cycles," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 59(2), pages 665-698, May.
    11. Guido Menzio & Shouyong Shi, 2011. "Efficient Search on the Job and the Business Cycle," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 119(3), pages 468-510.
    12. Jess Benhabib & Jesse Perla & Christopher Tonetti, 2017. "Reconciling Models of Diffusion and Innovation: A Theory of the Productivity Distribution and Technology Frontier," NBER Working Papers 23095, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. Marianna Kudlyak & Jason Faberman, 2014. "The Intensity of Job Search and Search Duration," 2014 Meeting Papers 306, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    14. Robert Shimer, 2005. "The Cyclical Behavior of Equilibrium Unemployment and Vacancies," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 25-49, March.
    15. Greg Kaplan & Guido Menzio, 2016. "Shopping Externalities and Self-Fulfilling Unemployment Fluctuations," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 124(3), pages 771-825.
    16. Fabien Postel-Vinay & Jean-Marc Robin, 2002. "Equilibrium Wage Dispersion with Worker and Employer Heterogeneity," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) hal-00357751, HAL.
    17. Glenn Ellison & Sara Fisher Ellison, 2018. "Match Quality, Search, and the Internet Market for Used Books," NBER Working Papers 24197, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    18. Marinescu, Ioana E. & Wolthoff, Ronald P., 2015. "Opening the Black Box of the Matching Function: The Power of Words," IZA Discussion Papers 9071, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    19. Fabien Postel-Vinay & Jean-Marc Robin, 2002. "Equilibrium Wage Dispersion with Worker and Employer Heterogeneity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(6), pages 2295-2350, November.
    20. Peter A. Diamond, 1982. "Wage Determination and Efficiency in Search Equilibrium," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 49(2), pages 217-227.
    21. Jesse Perla & Christopher Tonetti, 2014. "Equilibrium Imitation and Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 122(1), pages 52-76.
    22. Christopher A. Pissarides, 2000. "Equilibrium Unemployment Theory, 2nd Edition," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262161877, January.
    23. Mortensen, Dale T, 1982. "Property Rights and Efficiency in Mating, Racing, and Related Games," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(5), pages 968-979, December.
    24. Moen, Espen R, 1997. "Competitive Search Equilibrium," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(2), pages 385-411, April.
    25. Jesper Bagger & François Fontaine & Fabien Postel-Vinay & Jean-Marc Robin, 2014. "Tenure, Experience, Human Capital, and Wages: A Tractable Equilibrium Search Model of Wage Dynamics," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) hal-01301431, HAL.
    26. Kiyotaki, Nobuhiro & Wright, Randall, 1993. "A Search-Theoretic Approach to Monetary Economics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(1), pages 63-77, March.
    27. Faberman, R. Jason & Menzio, Guido, 2018. "Evidence on the relationship between recruiting and the starting wage," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 67-79.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Search frictions; Unemployment; Growth; Agglomeration;

    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
    • O40 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - General
    • R11 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Regional Economic Activity: Growth, Development, Environmental Issues, and Changes

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:pen:papers:18-005. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Administrator). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/deupaus.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.