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More on Unemployment and Vacancy Fluctuations

  • Dale T. Mortensen

    ()

    (Department of Economics Northwestern University)

Shimer (2005a) argues that the textbook equilibrium search model of unemployment explains less than 10% of the volatility in U.S. vacancies and unemployment when fluctuations are driven by productivity shocks. His paper as well as other recent work inspired by it are reviewed and extended here. Although there seems to be excessive feedback from the job-finding rate to the wage built into the Nash bargaining mechanism assumed to determine wages in the model, we argue that he and others overemphasize the need for wage rigidity to explain the data on labor-market fluctuations. Indeed, a modified version of the model can explain the magnitude of the empirical relationship between the vacancy-unemployment ratio and labor productivity when wages are the outcome of a strategic bargaining game and when the elasticity of the matching function and the opportunity cost of a match are set at reasonable values. The modified model also explains almost two thirds of the volatility in the ratio relative to that of productivity when separation shocks are taken into account, as well as the strong negative correlation between vacancies and unemployment found in Shimer's data. (Copyright: Elsevier)

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Paper provided by Society for Economic Dynamics in its series 2005 Meeting Papers with number 326.

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Date of creation: 2005
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Handle: RePEc:red:sed005:326
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Society for Economic Dynamics Marina Azzimonti Department of Economics Stonybrook University 10 Nicolls Road Stonybrook NY 11790 USA

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  1. Basu, Susanto & Fernald, John G, 1997. "Returns to Scale in U.S. Production: Estimates and Implications," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(2), pages 249-83, April.
  2. John Kennan, 2006. "Private Information, Wage Bargaining and Employment Fluctuations," NBER Working Papers 11967, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Giuseppe Moscarini, 2005. "Job Matching and the Wage Distribution," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 73(2), pages 481-516, 03.
  4. Barbara Petrongolo & Christopher Pissarides, 2000. "Looking into the black box: a survey of the matching function," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 2122, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  5. Christopher A. Pissarides, 1994. "Search Unemployment with On-the-job Search," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 61(3), pages 457-475.
  6. Marcus Hagedorn & Iourii Manovskii, 2005. "The Cyclical Behavior of Equilibrium Unemployment and Vacancies Revisited," 2005 Meeting Papers 460, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  7. Dale T. Mortensen & Christopher A. Pissarides, 1999. "Job Reallocation, Employment Fluctuations and Unemployment," CEP Discussion Papers dp0421, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  8. Gary Solon & Robert Barsky & Jonathan A. Parker, 1992. "Measuring the Cyclicality of Real Wages: How Important is Composition Bias," NBER Working Papers 4202, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Robert E. Hall & Paul R. Milgrom, 2007. "The Limited Influence of Unemployment on the Wage Bargain," Levine's Bibliography 321307000000000135, UCLA Department of Economics.
  10. Robert E. Hall, 2005. "Employment Fluctuations with Equilibrium Wage Stickiness," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 50-65, March.
  11. Robert Shimer, 2004. "The Consequences of Rigid Wages in Search Models," NBER Working Papers 10326, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Mortensen, Dale T. & Pissarides, Christopher A., 1999. "New developments in models of search in the labor market," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 39, pages 2567-2627 Elsevier.
  13. Shimer, Robert, 2006. "On-the-job search and strategic bargaining," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 50(4), pages 811-830, May.
  14. Dale T. Mortensen & Christopher A. Pissarides, 1994. "Job Creation and Job Destruction in the Theory of Unemployment," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 61(3), pages 397-415.
  15. Nash, John, 1950. "The Bargaining Problem," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 18(2), pages 155-162, April.
  16. Robert Shimer, 2005. "The Cyclical Behavior of Equilibrium Unemployment and Vacancies," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 25-49, March.
  17. Devine, Theresa J. & Kiefer, Nicolas M., 1991. "Empirical Labor Economics: The Search Approach," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195059366, July.
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