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Efficiency and Labor Market Dynamics in a Model of Labor Selection

  • Christian Merkl

    (Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nurember)

  • Sanjay K. Chugh

    (University of Maryland)

We characterize efficient allocations and business cycle fluctuations in a labor-selection model. Due to forward-looking hiring costs and labor supply decisions, efficiency entails both static and intertemporal dimensions. We develop welfare-relevant measures of marginal rates of transformation and efficiency along each margin and show how they nest their counterparts in the frictionless RBC model. In a calibrated version of the model, efficient fluctuations feature highly volatile unemployment and job-finding rates, in line with empirical evidence. We show analytically in a simplified version of the model that volatility arises from selection effects, not associated general equilibrium effects. We also develop sufficient conditions on wages that support efficient allocations in a decentralized economy. These conditions are independent of the wage-determination process, unlike the well-known Hosios condition for matching models, which assumes Nash-bargained wages. Also unlike the Hosios condition, there is no simple restriction on Nash bargaining that guarantees that Nash wages can support efficient allocations. Cyclical fluctuations in the Nash-bargaining economy display even larger amplification of productivity shocks into labor market outcomes than in the efficient economy, without extreme assumptions about bargaining shares, inflexibility of wages, or the size of surpluses that govern labor demand. The results establish normative and positive foundations for DSGE labor selection models.

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Paper provided by Society for Economic Dynamics in its series 2011 Meeting Papers with number 824.

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Date of creation: 2011
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Handle: RePEc:red:sed011:824
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Society for Economic Dynamics Marina Azzimonti Department of Economics Stonybrook University 10 Nicolls Road Stonybrook NY 11790 USA

Web page: http://www.EconomicDynamics.org/
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  1. Hansen, Gary D., 1985. "Indivisible labor and the business cycle," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 309-327, November.
  2. Monique Ebell, 2008. "Resurrecting the Participation Margin," CEP Discussion Papers dp0873, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  3. Lechthaler, Wolfgang & Merkl, Christian & Snower, Dennis J., 2008. "Monetary Persistence and the Labor Market: A New Perspective," IZA Discussion Papers 3513, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Rogerson, Richard & Shimer, Robert, 2011. "Search in Macroeconomic Models of the Labor Market," Handbook of Labor Economics, Elsevier.
  5. Barron, John M & Bishop, John & Dunkelberg, William C, 1985. "Employer Search: The Interviewing and Hiring of New Employees," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 67(1), pages 43-52, February.
  6. Michael Reiter & Christian Haefke, 2012. "What Do Participation Fluctuations Tell Us About Labor Supply Elasticities?," 2012 Meeting Papers 594, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  7. Alessio J. G. Brown & Christian Merkl & Dennis Snower, 2009. "An Incentive Theory of Matching," Kiel Working Papers 1512, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
  8. Mikael Carlsson & Stefan Eriksson & Nils Gottfries, 2013. "Product market imperfections and employment dynamics," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 65(2), pages 447-470, April.
  9. Faia, Ester & Lechthaler, Wolfgang & Merkl, Christian, 2009. "Labor Turnover Costs, Workers' Heterogeneity, and Optimal Monetary Policy," IZA Discussion Papers 4322, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  10. Alex Bryson, 2014. "It's Where You Work: Increases in Earnings Dispersion across Establishments and Individuals in the U.S," NIESR Discussion Papers 436, National Institute of Economic and Social Research.
  11. 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.
  12. Andolfatto, David, 1996. "Business Cycles and Labor-Market Search," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(1), pages 112-32, March.
  13. J. J. McCall, 1970. "Economics of Information and Job Search," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 84(1), pages 113-126.
  14. Robert Shimer, 2005. "The Cyclical Behavior of Equilibrium Unemployment and Vacancies," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 25-49, March.
  15. Mas-Colell, Andreu & Whinston, Michael D. & Green, Jerry R., 1995. "Microeconomic Theory," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195102680, July.
  16. Rogerson, Richard, 1988. "Indivisible labor, lotteries and equilibrium," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 3-16, January.
  17. Steven J. Davis & R. Jason Faberman & John C. Haltiwanger, 2010. "The Establishment-Level Behavior of Vacancies and Hiring," NBER Working Papers 16265, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Wouter J. den Haan & Garey Ramey & Joel Watson, 1997. "Job Destruction and Propagation of Shocks," NBER Working Papers 6275, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Christiano, Lawrence J. & Trabrandt, Mathias & Walentin, Karl, 2010. "Involuntary Unemployment and the Business Cycle," Working Paper Series 238, Sveriges Riksbank (Central Bank of Sweden), revised 01 Jun 2012.
  20. Pissarides, Christopher A, 1985. "Short-run Equilibrium Dynamics of Unemployment Vacancies, and Real Wages," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(4), pages 676-90, September.
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  22. David M. Arseneau & Sanjay K. Chugh, 2012. "Tax Smoothing in Frictional Labor Markets," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 120(5), pages 926 - 985.
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  26. repec:oup:restud:v:61:y:1994:i:3:p:397-415 is not listed on IDEAS
  27. Lee Ohanian & Andrea Raffo & Richard Rogerson, 2006. "Long-Term Changes in Labor Supply and Taxes: Evidence from OECD Countries, 1956-2004," NBER Working Papers 12786, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  28. Robert E. Hall, 2005. "Employment Fluctuations with Equilibrium Wage Stickiness," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 50-65, March.
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