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Cyclical Upgrading of Labor and Employment Differences across Skill Groups

  • Andri Chassamboulli

This paper examines the cyclical properties of employment rates in a search and matching model that features heterogeneous workers and jobs. Firms can create vacancies for jobs that that require either a high- or a low-skill level. High-skill workers are best suited for high-skill jobs, but are also qualified for low-skill jobs, whereas low-skill workers are only qualified for low-skill jobs. My analysis highlights the importance of a vertical type of transitory skill-mismatch, which takes the form workers accepting jobs below their skill level to escape unemployment and upgrading by on-the-job search, in explaining why typically employment is lower and more procyclical at lower skill levels. I show that this feature makes low-skill vacancy creation more strongly procyclical than high-skill vacancy creation. The model is also consistent with important features of the labor market, such as a procyclical rate of job-to-job transitions and evidence that the educational levels of new hires within occupations are higher in recessions and lower in booms.

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Paper provided by University of Cyprus Department of Economics in its series University of Cyprus Working Papers in Economics with number 14-2010.

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Length: 57 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ucy:cypeua:14-2010
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  1. van Ours, J. C. & Ridder, G., 1995. "Job matching and job competition: Are lower educated workers at the back of job queues?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 39(9), pages 1717-1731, December.
  2. van Ours, Jan & Ridder, Geert, 1992. "Vacancies and the Recruitment of New Employees," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 10(2), pages 138-55, April.
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