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On-the-Job Search and Business Cycles

Author

Listed:
  • Shouyong Shi

    (University of Toronto)

  • Guido Menzio

    (University of Pennsylvania)

Abstract

In this paper, we develop a tractable model of the labor market where workers search for jobs both while unemployed and while on the job. Search is directed in the sense that each worker chooses to search for the offer that provides the optimal tradeoff between the probability of obtaining the offer and the increase in the value relative to the worker's current employment. There are both aggregate and match-specific shocks, on which the wage path in an offer can be contingent. We characterize the equilibrium analytically and show that the equilibrium is unique and socially efficient. On the quantitative side, we calibrate the model to the US data to measure the effect of aggregate productivity fluctuations on the labor market. We find that productivity fluctuations account for approximately 64% of the cyclical volatility in US unemployment. Moreover, productivity fluctuations generate the same matrix of correlations between unemployment and other labor market variables as in the US. In particular, the Beveridge curve is negatively sloped over business cycles, and the magnitude of the slope is the same as in the data. In light of these findings, we conclude that productivity shocks are one of the main forces driving labor market fluctuations over business cycles. Furthermore, we find that recessions have a cleansing effect on the economy.

Suggested Citation

  • Shouyong Shi & Guido Menzio, 2008. "On-the-Job Search and Business Cycles," 2008 Meeting Papers 252, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  • Handle: RePEc:red:sed008:252
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Dale Mortensen & Eva Nagypal, 2007. "More on Unemployment and Vacancy Fluctuations," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 10(3), pages 327-347, July.
    2. 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, pages 1-19.
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    4. Christopher A. Pissarides, 1994. "Search Unemployment with On-the-job Search," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 61(3), pages 457-475.
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    7. Moen, E.R., 1995. "Competitive Search Equilibrium," Memorandum 37/1995, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
    8. Alain Delacroix & Shouyong Shi, 2006. "Directed Search On The Job And The Wage Ladder," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 47(2), pages 651-699, May.
    9. 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.
    10. 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.
    11. Robert Shimer, 2005. "The Cyclical Behavior of Equilibrium Unemployment and Vacancies," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, pages 25-49.
    12. Pissarides, Christopher A, 1985. "Short-run Equilibrium Dynamics of Unemployment Vacancies, and Real Wages," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, pages 676-690.
    13. Moen, Espen R, 1997. "Competitive Search Equilibrium," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(2), pages 385-411, April.
    14. Bruce C. Fallick & Charles A. Fleischman, 2004. "Employer-to-employer flows in the U.S. labor market: the complete picture of gross worker flows," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2004-34, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
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    16. Burdett, Kenneth & Mortensen, Dale T, 1998. "Wage Differentials, Employer Size, and Unemployment," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 39(2), pages 257-273, May.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Leena Rudanko, 2008. "Aggregate and Idiosyncratic Risk in a Frictional Labor Market," Boston University - Department of Economics - Working Papers Series wp2008-009, Boston University - Department of Economics.
    2. Anna Ilyina & Roberto M. Samaniego, 2009. "A Multi-industry Model of Growth with Financing Constraints," IMF Working Papers 09/119, International Monetary Fund.
    3. John Kennes & Daniel le Maire, 2010. "Coordination Frictions and Job Heterogeneity: A Discrete Time Analysis," Economics Working Papers 2010-05, Department of Economics and Business Economics, Aarhus University.
    4. Leena Rudanko, 2011. "Aggregate and Idiosyncratic Risk in a Frictional Labor Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, pages 2823-2843.
    5. Leena Rudanko, 2010. "Aggregate and Idiosyncratic Risk in a Frictional Labor Market," Boston University - Department of Economics - Working Papers Series WP2010-054, Boston University - Department of Economics.

    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
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search

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