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On the Stability of the German Beveridge Curve. A Spatial Econometric Perspective

  • Christian Dreger

    ()

  • Reinhold Kosfeld

    ()

In this paper, we use the Beveridge relationship to address the effectiveness of the matching process, that brings workers searching for jobs together with employers searching for workers. For a fixed matching technology, the curve yields a negative relation between the unemployment rate and the rate of vacancies. Movements along a curve reflect adjustments over the business cycle. In a recession vacancies are closed, and workers enter the unemployed. Shifts of the curve are more important here, as they point to structural change. For example, an outward shift of the curve indicates an in-creased mismatch, perhaps due to a deterioration in human capital of the unemployed or changes in the unemployment benefit system, which affects the willingness of the un-employed to fill out vacancies. Empirical estimates rely on panel data. A sample of 180 regional labour markets is em-ployed, and the sample period runs from 1993 to 2004. The regional labour markets are seperated on the base of flows of the job commuters and correspond to travel-to-work areas. Due to common or idiosyncratic shocks, however, the cross sections are not inde-pendent. Instead, they are tied together to some extent, and the spillovers account for spatial effects. As these patterns can have an impact on the correlation between unem-ployment and vacancy rates, the results of OLS regressions are eventually biased. Thus the Beveridge curve is efficiently estimated by a spatial procedure, where regional de-pendencies are taken into account. No previous paper has investigated a similar broad regional dataset so far. The eigenfunction decomposition approach suggested by Griffith (1996, 2000) is used to identify spatial and non-spatial components in regression analysis. As the spatial pat-tern may vary over time, inference is conducted on the base of a spatial seemingly unre-lated regressions (spatial SUR) model. Due to this setup, efficient estimates for the Beveridge relationship are obtained. Time dummies are used to control for shifts in the curve. The empirical results provide some indication that the degree of job mismatch has increased over the recent periods.

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Paper provided by European Regional Science Association in its series ERSA conference papers with number ersa06p396.

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Date of creation: Aug 2006
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Handle: RePEc:wiw:wiwrsa:ersa06p396
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  1. Wall, Howard J & Zoega, Gylfi, 2002. " The British Beveridge Curve: A Tale of Ten Regions," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 64(3), pages 261-80, July.
  2. Richard Archambault & Mario Fortin, 2001. "The Beveridge curve and unemployment fluctuations in Canada," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 34(1), pages 58-81, February.
  3. Christopher A. Pissarides, 2003. "Unemployment in Britain: A European Success Story," CESifo Working Paper Series 981, CESifo Group Munich.
  4. Robert J. Hodrick & Edward Prescott, 1981. "Post-War U.S. Business Cycles: An Empirical Investigation," Discussion Papers 451, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  5. Barbara Petrongolo & Christopher A. Pissarides, 2000. "Looking Into the Black Box: A Survey of the Matching Function," CEP Discussion Papers dp0470, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  6. Blanchard, O.J. & Diamond, P., 1990. "Ranking, Unemployment Duration, And Wages," Working papers 546, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  7. Nicolaas Groenewold, 2003. "Long-Run Shifts of the Beveridge Curve and the Frictional Unemployment Rate in Australia," Australian Journal of Labour Economics (AJLE), Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre (BCEC), Curtin Business School, vol. 6(1), pages 65-82, March.
  8. Oliver Jean Blanchard & Peter Diamond, 1989. "The Beveridge Curve," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 20(1), pages 1-76.
  9. Pissarides, Christopher A, 1985. "Short-run Equilibrium Dynamics of Unemployment Vacancies, and Real Wages," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(4), pages 676-90, September.
  10. Borsch-Supan, Axel H, 1991. "Panel Data Analysis of the Beveridge Curve: Is There a Macroeconomic Relation between the Rate of Unemployment and the Vacancy Rate?," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 58(231), pages 279-97, August.
  11. Lei Lei Song & Elizabeth Webster, 2003. "How Segmented are Skilled and Unskilled Labour Markets: the Case of Beveridge Curves," Australian Economic Papers, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 42(3), pages 332-345, 09.
  12. Budd, Alan & Levine, Paul & Smith, Peter, 1988. "Unemployment, Vacancies and the Long-term Unemployed," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 98(393), pages 1071-91, December.
  13. Bhargava, A & Franzini, L & Narendranathan, W, 1982. "Serial Correlation and the Fixed Effects Model," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 49(4), pages 533-49, October.
  14. Pissarides, Christopher A, 1992. "Loss of Skill during Unemployment and the Persistence of Employment Shocks," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(4), pages 1371-91, November.
  15. Timothy F. Bresnahan & Erik Brynjolfsson & Lorin M. Hitt, 1999. "Information Technology, Workplace Organization and the Demand for Skilled Labor: Firm-Level Evidence," NBER Working Papers 7136, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Hoyt Bleakley & Jeffrey C. Fuhrer, 1997. "Shifts in the Beveridge Curve, job matching, and labor market dynamics," New England Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, issue Sep, pages 3-19.
  17. Nickell, Stephen & Bell, Brian, 1995. "The Collapse in Demand for the Unskilled and Unemployment across the OECD," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 11(1), pages 40-62, Spring.
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