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Aggregate Demand, Idle Time, and Unemployment

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  • Pascal Michaillat

    (London School of Economics)

  • Emmanuel Saez

    (University of California, Berkeley)

Abstract

This paper develops a model of unemployment fluctuations. The model keeps the architecture of the Barro and Grossman (1971) general disequilibrium model but replaces the disequilibrium framework on the labor and product markets by a matching framework. On the product and labor markets, both price and tightness adjust to equalize supply and demand. There is one more variable than equilibrium condition on each market, so we consider various price mechanisms to close the model, from completely flexible to completely rigid. With some price rigidity, aggregate demand influences unemployment through a simple mechanism: higher aggregate demand raises the probability that firms find customers, which reduces idle time for firms’ employees and thus increases labor demand, which in turn reduces unemployment. We use the comparative-statistics predictions of the model together with empirical measures of quantities and tightnesses to re-examine the origins of labor market fluctuations. We conclude that (1) price and real wage are not fully flexible because product and labor market tightness fluctuate significantly; (2) fluctuations are mostly caused by labor demand and not labor supply shocks because employment is positively correlated with labor market tightness; and (3) labor demand shocks mostly reflect aggregate demand and not technology shocks because output is positively correlated with product market tightness.

Suggested Citation

  • Pascal Michaillat & Emmanuel Saez, 2014. "Aggregate Demand, Idle Time, and Unemployment," Upjohn Working Papers and Journal Articles 14-214, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:upj:weupjo:14-214
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    Cited by:

    1. Landais, Camille & Michaillat, Pascal & Saez, Emmanuel, 2010. "Optimal unemployment insurance over the business cycle," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 35596, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    2. Kory Kroft & Kucko Kavan & Etienne Lehmann & Johannes Schmieder, 2015. "Optimal Income Taxation with Unemployment and Wage Responses: A Sufficient Statistics Approach," Working Papers hal-01292126, HAL.
    3. Pablo Ottonello, 2015. "Capital Unemployment, Financial Shocks, and Investment Slumps," 2015 Meeting Papers 1153, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    4. Michaillat, Pascal & Saez, Emmanuel, 2014. "An economical business-cycle model," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 86332, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    5. Russell Wong & Guillaume Rocheteau & Zachary Bethune, 2017. "Unemployment, Aggregate Demand, and the Distribution of Liquidity," 2017 Meeting Papers 760, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    6. Pascal Michaillat & Emmanuel Saez, 2015. "The Optimal Use of Government Purchases for Macroeconomic Stabilization," Discussion Papers 1515, Centre for Macroeconomics (CFM).
    7. Gottfries, Nils & Stadin, Karolina, 2016. "The Matching Process:Search Or Mismatch?," Working Paper Series 2016:14, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
    8. Luba Petersen & Guidon Fenig, 2015. "Distributing scarce jobs and output: Experimental evidence on the effects of rationing," Discussion Papers dp15-02, Department of Economics, Simon Fraser University.
    9. Coibion, Olivier & Gorodnichenko, Yuriy & Koustas, Dmitri, 2017. "Consumption Inequality and the Frequency of Purchases," IZA Discussion Papers 10882, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    10. Pascal Michaillat & Emmanuel Saez, 2015. "The Optimal Use of Government Purchases for Stabilization," NBER Working Papers 21322, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Gottfries, Nils & Stadin, Karolina, 2016. "The Matching Process: Search or Mismatch," Ratio Working Papers 279, The Ratio Institute.
    12. Brendon, Charles & Corsetti, Giancarlo, 2016. "COEURE Survey: Fiscal and Monetary Policies after the Crises," CEPR Discussion Papers 11088, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    13. Stadin, Karolina, 2015. "Firms’ employment dynamics and the state of the labor market," Working Paper Series 2015:20, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
    14. repec:kap:expeco:v:20:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s10683-016-9507-y is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Focacci, Antonio, 2017. "Controversial curves of the economy: An up-to-date investigation of long waves," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 116(C), pages 271-285.
    16. Nils Gottfries & Karolina Stadin, 2017. "The Matching Process: Search or Mismatch?," CESifo Working Paper Series 6300, CESifo Group Munich.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    aggregate demand; unemployment; matching frictions; business cycles;

    JEL classification:

    • E10 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General Aggregative Models - - - General
    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • E30 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - General (includes Measurement and Data)
    • J2 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor
    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search

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