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Big Locational Differences in Unemployment Despite High Labor Mobility

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  • Northwestern University
  • Damba Lkhagvasuren

Abstract

Considerable labor mobility exists across U.S. states, enough that, if migration arbitrages local unemployment, one might expect very low unemployment differences across states. However, cross-state data reveal large unemployment differences. An equilibrium multi-location model with stochastic worker-location match productivity and within-location trading frictions can account for these facts. In the model, some workers move to, or stay in, a location with high unemployment because they are more productive there than elsewhere. According to the model, labor mobility and aggregate unemployment are negatively related. This prediction is in stark contrast to standard sectoral reallocation theory, but consistent with the U.S. data.
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Suggested Citation

  • Northwestern University & Damba Lkhagvasuren, 2007. "Big Locational Differences in Unemployment Despite High Labor Mobility," 2007 Meeting Papers 922, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  • Handle: RePEc:red:sed007:922
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Raven E. Saks & Abigail Wozniak, 2011. "Labor Reallocation over the Business Cycle: New Evidence from Internal Migration," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 29(4), pages 697-739.
    2. Fuller, David L. & Kudlyak, Marianna & Lkhagvasuren, Damba, 2014. "Productivity insurance: The role of unemployment benefits in a multi-sector model," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 39-53.
    3. Lutgen, Vanessa & Van der Linden, Bruno, 2015. "Regional equilibrium unemployment theory at the age of the Internet," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 50-67.
    4. Janice Eberly & Sergio Rebelo & Nicolas Vincent, 2008. "Investment and Value: A Neoclassical Benchmark," Cahiers de recherche 08-03, HEC Montréal, Institut d'économie appliquée.
    5. Vives Coscojuela, Cecilia, 2018. "Housing Tenure, Geographical Mobility and the Labour Market: the Role of the Employment Exit Rate," IKERLANAK Ikerlanak;2018-110, Universidad del País Vasco - Departamento de Fundamentos del Análisis Económico I.
    6. David Fuller & Damba Lkhagvasuren & Antoine Terracol & Stephane Auray, 2014. "A Dynamic Analysis of Sectoral Mobility, Worker Mismatch, and the Wage-Tenure Profile," 2014 Meeting Papers 876, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    7. Greenaway-McGrevy, Ryan & Hood, Kyle K., 2016. "Worker migration or job creation? Persistent shocks and regional recoveries," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(C), pages 1-16.
    8. Coen-Pirani, Daniele, 2010. "Understanding gross worker flows across U.S. states," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(7), pages 769-784, October.
    9. Auray Stéphane & Fuller David & Lkhagvasuren Damba & Terracol Antoine, 2017. "Dynamic Comparative Advantage, Directed Mobility Across Sectors, and Wages," Working Papers 2017-59, Center for Research in Economics and Statistics.
    10. Braun, Sebastian Till & Weber, Henning, 2021. "How do regional labor markets adjust to immigration? A dynamic analysis for post-war Germany," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 129(C).
    11. Lalé, Etienne, 2017. "Worker reallocation across occupations: Confronting data with theory," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 51-68.
    12. Roc Armenter & Francesc Ortega, 2010. "Credible Redistributive Policies and Migration across US States," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 13(2), pages 403-423, April.
    13. Wozniak, Abigail, 2006. "Educational Differences in the Migration Responses of Young Workers to Local Labor Market Conditions," IZA Discussion Papers 1954, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    14. Armenter, Roc & Ortega, Francesc, 2011. "Credible redistribution policy and skilled migration," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 228-245, February.
    15. Keisuke Kawata & Kentaro Nakajima & Yasuhiro Sato, 2013. "Analyzing the impact of labor market integration," Discussion Papers in Economics and Business 13-28, Osaka University, Graduate School of Economics.
    16. Eberly, Janice & Rebelo, Sergio & Vincent, Nicolas, 2012. "What explains the lagged-investment effect?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(4), pages 370-380.
    17. KAWATA Keisuke & NAKAJIMA Kentaro & SATO Yasuhiro, 2014. "Competitive Search with Moving Costs," Discussion papers 14052, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).

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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
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search
    • J68 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Public Policy
    • J11 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Demographic Trends, Macroeconomic Effects, and Forecasts
    • R12 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Size and Spatial Distributions of Regional Economic Activity; Interregional Trade (economic geography)
    • R13 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - General Equilibrium and Welfare Economic Analysis of Regional Economies

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