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Heterogeneous Information and Labor Market Fluctuations

  • Venky Venkateswaran

I introduce dispersed information in a search and matching model of the labor market, where firms are hit by aggregate and idiosyncratic productivity shocks. The latter induce larger responses in recruiting activity than the former - because aggregate shocks have general equilibrium effects which partially offset the change in fundamentals. Informational frictions prevent firms from disentangling aggregate and idiosyncratic shocks. With Bayesian updating, firms attribute aggregate shocks largely to idiosyncratic factors, because the latter have significantly larger variances. This misattribution translates into an increased responsiveness of employment to aggregate shocks, relative to an economy with full information. I show that in a calibrated model, this channel has quantitatively significant effects and offers a potential solution to a well-known puzzle - the inability of standard search and matching models to generate sufficient volatility in labor market variables. In particular, the model with dispersed information brings the relative volatilities of employment and market tightness very close to those observed in the data.

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Paper provided by Society for Economic Dynamics in its series 2011 Meeting Papers with number 1292.

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Date of creation: 2011
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Handle: RePEc:red:sed011:1292
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  16. Venky Venkateswaran & Christian Hellwig, 2009. "Setting The Right Prices for the Wrong Reasons," 2009 Meeting Papers 260, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  17. Burcu Eyigungor, 2010. "Specific Capital and Vintage Effects on the Dynamics of Unemployment and Vacancies," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(3), pages 1214-37, June.
  18. Moscarini, Giuseppe, 2004. "Limited information capacity as a source of inertia," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 28(10), pages 2003-2035, September.
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