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Structural unemployment

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  • Benedikt Herz
  • Thijs van Rens

Abstract

Structural unemployment is due to mismatch between available jobs and workers. We formalize this concept in a simple model of a segmented labor market with search frictions within segments. Worker mobility, job mobility and wage bargaining costs across segments generate structural unemployment. We estimate the contribution of these costs to fluctuations in US unemployment, operationalizing segments as states or industries. Most structural unemployment is due to wage bargaining costs, which are large but nevertheless contribute little to unemployment fluctuations. Structural unemployment is as cyclical as overall unemployment and no more persistent, both in the current and in previous recessions.

Suggested Citation

  • Benedikt Herz & Thijs van Rens, 2011. "Structural unemployment," Economics Working Papers 1276, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  • Handle: RePEc:upf:upfgen:1276
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Erica L. Groshen & Simon M. Potter, 2003. "Has structural change contributed to a jobless recovery?," Current Issues in Economics and Finance, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, vol. 9(Aug).
    2. Regis Barnichon & Andrew Figura, 2010. "What drives movements in the unemployment rate? a decomposition of the Beveridge curve," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2010-48, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
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    Cited by:

    1. Michael Christl, 2020. "A Beveridge curve decomposition for Austria: did the liberalisation of the Austrian labour market shift the Beveridge curve?," Journal for Labour Market Research, Springer;Institute for Employment Research/ Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), vol. 54(1), pages 1-15, December.
    2. Jinzhu Chen & Prakash Kannan & Prakash Loungani & Bharat Trehan, 2012. "New evidence on cyclical and structural sources of unemployment," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue March, pages 1-23.
    3. Federico Di Pace & Matthias Hertweck, 2019. "Labor Market Frictions, Monetary Policy, and Durable Goods," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 32, pages 274-304, April.
    4. Herrendorf, Berthold & Rogerson, Richard & Valentinyi, Ákos, 2014. "Growth and Structural Transformation," Handbook of Economic Growth, in: Philippe Aghion & Steven Durlauf (ed.), Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 6, pages 855-941, Elsevier.
    5. Francesco Furlanetto & Nicolas Groshenny, 2016. "Mismatch Shocks and Unemployment During the Great Recession," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 31(7), pages 1197-1214, November.
    6. Regis Barnichon & Andrew Figura, 2015. "Labor Market Heterogeneity and the Aggregate Matching Function," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 7(4), pages 222-249, October.
    7. Sedláček, Petr, 2014. "Match efficiency and firms' hiring standards," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(C), pages 123-133.
    8. Robert E. Hall & Sam Schulhofer-Wohl, 2018. "Measuring Job-Finding Rates and Matching Efficiency with Heterogeneous Job-Seekers," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 10(1), pages 1-32, January.
    9. Ludo Visschers & Carlos Carrillo-Tudela, 2011. "Unemployment and Endogenous Reallocation over the Business Cycle," 2011 Meeting Papers 1101, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    10. Bauer, Anja, 2013. "Mismatch unemployment : evidence from Germany 2000-2010," IAB-Discussion Paper 201310, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
    11. Carrillo-Tudela, Carlos & Visschers, Ludo, 2014. "Unemployment and Endogenous Reallocation over the Business Cycle," 2007 Annual Meeting, July 29-August 1, 2007, Portland, Oregon TN 2015-35, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
    12. Ludo Visschers & Carlos Carrillo-Tudela, 2011. "Unemployment and Endogenous Reallocation over the Business Cycle," 2011 Meeting Papers 1101, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    13. Hall, R.E., 2016. "Macroeconomics of Persistent Slumps," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & Harald Uhlig (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 0, pages 2131-2181, Elsevier.
    14. Steven J. Davis & R. Jason Faberman & John C. Haltiwanger, 2012. "Recruiting Intensity during and after the Great Recession: National and Industry Evidence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(3), pages 584-588, May.
    15. Yuelin Liu, 2014. "How Structural Is Unemployment in the United States?," Discussion Papers 2014-42, School of Economics, The University of New South Wales.
    16. Axtell, Robert L. & Guerrero, Omar A. & López, Eduardo, 2019. "Frictional unemployment on labor flow networks," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 160(C), pages 184-201.
    17. Anna Sabadash, 2013. "ICT-induced Technological Progress and Employment: A Literature Review," JRC Working Papers on Digital Economy 2013-07, Joint Research Centre (Seville site).
    18. Anna Sabadash, 2013. "ICT-induced Technological Progress and Employment: a Happy Marriage or a Dangerous Liaison? A Literature Review," JRC Working Papers JRC76143, Joint Research Centre (Seville site).
    19. José Ramón García Martínez & Valeri Sorolla, 2013. "Frictional and Non Frictional Unemployment in Models with Matching Frictions," Working Papers. Serie AD 2013-02, Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas, S.A. (Ivie).
    20. Michal Tvrdoň, 2015. "Decomposition of Unemployment: The Case of the Visegrad group countries," Working Papers 0005, Silesian University, School of Business Administration.
    21. Domenico Ferraro, 2018. "The Asymmetric Cyclical Behavior of the U.S. Labor Market," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 30, pages 145-162, October.
    22. Ludo Visschers & Carlos Carrillo-Tudela, 2011. "Unemployment and Endogenous Reallocation over the Business Cycle," 2011 Meeting Papers 1101, Society for Economic Dynamics.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    structural unemployment; mismatch; dispersion labor market conditions; worker mobility; job mobility; wage rigidities;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
    • J62 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Job, Occupational and Intergenerational Mobility; Promotion

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