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Turbulence and unemployment in matching models

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Steven Weinberg (2018) says: (1) new theories that target new observations should be constrained to agree with observations successfully represented by existing theories; and(2) preserving successes of earlier theories helps to discover unanticipated understandings of yet other phenomena. Weinberg’s advice helps us to answer the question: how do higher risks of skill losses coinciding both with involuntary layoffs (“layoff turbulence†) and with voluntary quits (“quit turbulence†) affect equilibrium unemployment rates? An earlier analysis that had included only layoff turbulence had established a positive relationship between turbulence and the unemployment rate within generous welfare states, but the absence of that relationship in countries with stingier welfare states. A subsequent influential analysis found that even very small amounts of quit turbulence would lead to a negative relationship between turbulence and unemployment rates. But that finding was based on a peculiar calibration of a productivity distribution that generates returns to labor mobility that make the model miss the positive turbulence-unemployment rate relationship that has been a theoretical basis for explaining the the persistent trans-Atlantic unemployment divide that emerged in post 1970s data and also miss observations about labor market churning. Repairing the faulty calibration of that productivity distribution not only brings models with quit turbulence into line with those observations but also puts the spotlight on macro-labor calibration strategies and implied returns to labor mobility.

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  • Isaac Baley & Lars Ljungqvist & Thomas J. Sargent, 2018. "Turbulence and unemployment in matching models," Economics Working Papers 1598, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Jul 2020.
  • Handle: RePEc:upf:upfgen:1598
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    1. Lars Ljungqvist, 2002. "How Do Lay--off Costs Affect Employment?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(482), pages 829-853, October.
    2. Lars Ljungqvist & Thomas J. Sargent, 1998. "The European Unemployment Dilemma," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(3), pages 514-550, June.
    3. den Haan, Wouter J. & Haefke, Christian & Ramey, Garey, 2001. "Shocks and Institutions in a Job Matching Model," University of California at San Diego, Economics Working Paper Series qt7x3544bn, Department of Economics, UC San Diego.
    4. J. J. McCall, 1970. "Economics of Information and Job Search," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 84(1), pages 113-126.
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    6. Wouter J. den Haan & Christian Haefke & Garey Ramey, 2005. "Turbulence And Unemployment In A Job Matching Model," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 3(6), pages 1360-1385, December.
    7. Mortensen, Dale T & Pissarides, Christopher A, 1999. "Unemployment Responses to 'Skill-Biased' Technology Shocks: The Role of Labour Market Policy," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(455), pages 242-265, April.
    8. Lucas, Robert Jr. & Prescott, Edward C., 1974. "Equilibrium search and unemployment," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 7(2), pages 188-209, February.
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    Cited by:

    1. Francesco Zanetti & Konstantinos Theodoridis, 2018. "State Dependence in Labor Market Fluctuations: Evidence, Theory, and Policy Implications," Economics Series Working Papers 856, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    2. Biró, Péter & Gudmundsson, Jens, 2021. "Complexity of finding Pareto-efficient allocations of highest welfare," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 291(2), pages 614-628.
    3. Juliana Mohd Abdul Kadir & Navaz Naghavi & Geetha Subramaniam & Nur A’amilyn Abdul Halim, 2020. "Unemployment among Graduates - Is there a Mismatch?," International Journal of Asian Social Science, Asian Economic and Social Society, vol. 10(10), pages 583-592, October.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    matching model; skills; turbulence; unemployment; layoffs; quits; layoff costs.;
    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
    • J63 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Turnover; Vacancies; Layoffs
    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search

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