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Household Search and the Aggregate Labor Market

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  • Mankart, Jochen
  • Oikonomou, Rigas

Abstract

Sharing risks is one of the essential economic roles of families. The importance of this role increases in the amount of uncertainty that households face in the labor market and in the degree of incompleteness of financial markets. We develop a theory of joint household search in frictional labor markets under incomplete financial markets. Households can insure themselves by savings and by timing their labor market participation. We show that this theory can match one aspect of the US data that conventional search models, which do not incorporate joint household search, cannot match. In the data, aggregate employment is pro-cyclical and unemployment counter-cyclical, but their sum, the labor force, is acyclical. In our model, and in the US data, when a family member loses his job in a recession, the other family member joins the labor force to provide insurance.

Suggested Citation

  • Mankart, Jochen & Oikonomou, Rigas, 2012. "Household Search and the Aggregate Labor Market," Economics Working Paper Series 1225, University of St. Gallen, School of Economics and Political Science.
  • Handle: RePEc:usg:econwp:2012:25
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    3. Alexandre Ounnas, 2020. "Worker Flows, Occupations and the Dynamics of Unemployment and Labor Force Participation," LIDAM Discussion Papers IRES 2020009, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
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    6. Joaquín Serrano & Leonardo Gasparini & Mariana Marchionni & Pablo Glüzmann, 2019. "Economic cycle and deceleration of female labor force participation in Latin America," Journal for Labour Market Research, Springer;Institute for Employment Research/ Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), vol. 53(1), pages 1-21, December.
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    11. Mankart, Jochen & Oikonomou, Rigas, 2016. "The rise of the added worker effect," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 143(C), pages 48-51.
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    18. Kathrin Ellieroth, 2019. "Spousal Insurance, Precautionary Labor Supply, and the Business Cycle - A Quantitative Analysis," 2019 Meeting Papers 1134, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    19. Serdar Birinci, 2019. "Spousal Labor Supply Response to Job Displacement and Implications for Optimal Transfers," Working Papers 2019-020, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, revised 25 Sep 2021.
    20. Razzu, Giovanni & Singleton, Carl, 2016. "Gender and the business cycle: An analysis of labour markets in the US and UK," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 47(PB), pages 131-146.
    21. Haomin Wang, 2019. "Intra-Household Risk Sharing and Job Search over the Business Cycle," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 34, pages 165-182, October.
    22. Haomin Wang, 2019. "Intra-Household Risk Sharing and Job Search over the Business Cycle," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 34, pages 165-182, October.
    23. Kevin X. D. Huang & Gregory W. Huffman, 2010. "A Defense of the Current US Tax Treatment of Employer-Provided Medical Insurance," Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers 1001, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics.
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    18. Eleni Iliopulos & François Langot & Thepthida Sopraseuth, 2019. "Welfare Cost of Fluctuations When Labor Market Search Interacts with Financial Frictions," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 51(8), pages 2207-2237, December.
    19. Yashiv, Eran, 2007. "Labor search and matching in macroeconomics," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 51(8), pages 1859-1895, November.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Heterogeneous Agents; Family Self Insurance; Labor Market Search; Aggregate Fluctuations;
    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
    • E25 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Aggregate Factor Income Distribution
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • J10 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - General
    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search

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