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Equilibrium Unemployment in a Generalized Search Model

Author

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  • William Hawkins

    (University of Rochester)

  • Daron Acemoglu

    (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)

Abstract

We present a generalization of the standard Diamond-Mortensen-Pissarides undirected-search model of unemployment in which the hiring process is time-consuming as well as costly. We follow Stole and Zwiebel (1996a,b) and assume that wages are determined by continuous bargaining between the firm and its employees. This generates a non-trivial dispersion of firm sizes; when firms' production technologies exhibit decreasing returns to labor, it also generates wage dispersion, even though all firms and all workers are ex ante identical. We characterize the steady-state equilibrium of the model; some important special cases are characterized in closed form. We characterize the out-of-steady state dynamics of employment and wages of the economy in response to productivity shocks. A feature of the model is the ability of the economy to respond to shocks on both an intensive margin (a change in the intensity of vacancy posting of incumbent firms) as well as an extensive margin (a change in the number of active firms); we show that both margins, as well whether there are decreasing returns to labor at the firm level, are important for the qualitative behavior of the unemployment rate and of the distribution of employment and wages across firms.

Suggested Citation

  • William Hawkins & Daron Acemoglu, 2010. "Equilibrium Unemployment in a Generalized Search Model," 2010 Meeting Papers 1040, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  • Handle: RePEc:red:sed010:1040
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Steven J. Davis & John Haltiwanger & Ron Jarmin & Javier Miranda, 2007. "Volatility and Dispersion in Business Growth Rates: Publicly Traded versus Privately Held Firms," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2006, Volume 21, pages 107-180, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Marcus Hagedorn & Iourii Manovskii, 2008. "The Cyclical Behavior of Equilibrium Unemployment and Vacancies Revisited," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(4), pages 1692-1706, September.
    3. William Hawkins & Daron Acemoglu, 2007. "Equilibrium Unemployment in a Generalized Search Model," 2007 Meeting Papers 384, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    4. William B. Hawkins, 2013. "Competitive Search, Efficiency, And Multiworker Firms," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 54(1), pages 219-251, February.
    5. Pierre Cahuc & Francois Marque & Etienne Wasmer, 2008. "A Theory Of Wages And Labor Demand With Intra-Firm Bargaining And Matching Frictions," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 49(3), pages 943-972, August.
    6. Cahuc, Pierre & Wasmer, Etienne, 2001. "Labor Market Efficiency, Wages and Employment when Search Frictions Interact with Intrafirm Bargaining," IZA Discussion Papers 304, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    7. Diamond, Peter A, 1982. "Aggregate Demand Management in Search Equilibrium," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 90(5), pages 881-894, October.
    8. Asher Wolinsky, 2000. "A Theory of the Firm with Non-Binding Employment Contracts," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(4), pages 875-910, July.
    9. 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.
    10. Andolfatto, David, 1996. "Business Cycles and Labor-Market Search," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(1), pages 112-132, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Felbermayr, Gabriel & Prat, Julien & Schmerer, Hans-Jörg, 2011. "Globalization and labor market outcomes: Wage bargaining, search frictions, and firm heterogeneity," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 146(1), pages 39-73, January.
    2. Leo Kaas & Philipp Kircher, 2015. "Efficient Firm Dynamics in a Frictional Labor Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 105(10), pages 3030-3060, October.
    3. Aysegul Sahin & Bart Hobijn, 2008. "Wage Determination and Firm Size Dynamics," 2008 Meeting Papers 356, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    4. Gabriel Felbermayr & Julien Prat, 2011. "Product Market Regulation, Firm Selection, And Unemployment," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 9(2), pages 278-317, April.
    5. Michael W. L. Elsby, 2008. "Marginal Jobs, Heterogeneous Firms, & Unemployment Flows," NBER Working Papers 13777, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. William Hawkins & Daron Acemoglu, 2007. "Equilibrium Unemployment in a Generalized Search Model," 2007 Meeting Papers 384, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    7. Bauer, Christian & Lingens, Jörg, 2010. "Individual vs. Collective Bargaining in the Large Firm Search Model," Discussion Papers in Economics 11315, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
    8. Bart Hobijn & Ayşegül Şahin, 2013. "Firms And Flexibility," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 51(1), pages 922-940, January.
    9. Russell Cooper & John Haltiwanger & Jonathan L. Willis, 2007. "Implications of Search Frictions: Matching Aggregate and Establishment-level Observations," NBER Working Papers 13115, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Markus Poschke, 2012. "The Labor Market, the Decision to Become an Entrepreneur, and the Firm Size Distribution," Cahiers de recherche 11-2012, Centre interuniversitaire de recherche en économie quantitative, CIREQ.

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