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Human Capital and Unemployment Dynamics: Why More Educated Workers Enjoy Greater Employment Stability

  • Tomaz Cajner

    (Universitat Pompeu Fabra)

  • Isabel Cairo

    (Universitat Pompeu Fabra)

Why do more educated workers experience lower unemployment rates? A closer look at the data reveals that these workers have the same job finding rates, but much lower separation rates than their less educated colleagues. We argue that on-the-job training, being complementary to formal education, is the reason for this pattern. Using a search and matching model with endogenous separations, we show that investments in match-specific human capital reduce the outside option of workers, implying less incentives to separate and thus longer job spells. The model generates unemployment dynamics that are consistent with the observed patterns for unemployment, separation and job finding rates across education groups.

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File URL: https://economicdynamics.org/meetpapers/2011/paper_1145.pdf
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Paper provided by Society for Economic Dynamics in its series 2011 Meeting Papers with number 1145.

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Date of creation: 2011
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Handle: RePEc:red:sed011:1145
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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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  5. James S. Costain & Michael Reiter, 2003. "Business cycles, unemployment insurance and the calibration of matching models," Economics Working Papers 872, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Oct 2006.
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  7. Karen Kopecky & Richard Suen, 2010. "Finite State Markov-chain Approximations to Highly Persistent Processes," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 13(3), pages 701-714, July.
  8. Joseph G. Altonji & James R. Spletzer, 1991. "Worker Characteristics, Job Characteristics, and the Receipt of On-the-Job Training," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 45(1), pages 58-79, October.
  9. Manuel Toledo & Jose I. Silva, 2005. "Labor Turnover Costs and the Cyclical Behavior of Vacancies and Unemployment," 2005 Meeting Papers 775, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  10. Robert H. Topel, 1990. "Specific Capital, Mobility, and Wages: Wages Rise with Job Seniority," NBER Working Papers 3294, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Jaeger, David A, 1997. "Reconciling the Old and New Census Bureau Education Questions: Recommendations for Researchers," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 15(3), pages 300-309, July.
  12. Christopher A. Pissarides, 2000. "Equilibrium Unemployment Theory, 2nd Edition," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262161877.
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