IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Worker-firm Matching and Unemployment in Transition to a Market


  • Daniel Munich


  • Jan Svejnar

    (The William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan Business School ; CERGE-EI)

  • Katherine Terrell

    (The William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan Business School)


In this paper we compare the nature and determinants of outflows from unemployment in the case of the Czech and Slovak Republics which in early 1990’s experienced a process close to a controlled experiment. Overall, our study suggests that the exceptionally low unemployment rate in the Czech Republic as compared to Slovakia and the other Central and East European economies has been brought about principally by (1) a rapid increase in vacancies along with unemployment, resulting in a balanced unemployment-vacancy situation at the aggregate as well as district level, (2) a major part played by vacancies and the newly unemployed in the outflow from unemployment, (3) a matching process with strongly increasing returns to scale throughout (rather than only in parts of) the transition period, and (4) ability to keep the long term unemployed at relatively low levels. Using the framework of matching functions we find that in many years the usual Cobb-Douglas specification and the hypothesis of constant returns to scale are rejected. A translog matching function with weak separability between the existing and newly unemployed is found to be the functional form best supported by the data. Our theoretical analysis also indicates that by not adjusting data for the varying size of districts or regions, previous studies may have generated estimates of the returns to scale of the matching function that were biased toward unity.

Suggested Citation

  • Daniel Munich & Jan Svejnar & Katherine Terrell, 2001. "Worker-firm Matching and Unemployment in Transition to a Market," Development and Comp Systems 0012011, EconWPA.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpdc:0012011
    Note: Type of Document - Acrobat PDF; pages: 39 + 17 ; figures: in separate PDF file

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Boeri, Tito & Burda, Michael C., 1996. "Active labor market policies, job matching and the Czech miracle," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(3-5), pages 805-817, April.
    2. Schaffer, Mark E, 1995. "Government Subsidies to Enterprises in Central and Eastern Europe: Budgetary Subsidies and Tax Arrears," CEPR Discussion Papers 1144, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    3. Storer, P, 1994. "Unemployment Dynamics and Labour Market Tightness: An Empirical Evaluation of Matching Function Models," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 9(4), pages 389-419, Oct.-Dec..
    4. Suits, Daniel B & Mason, Andrew & Chan, Louis, 1978. "Spline Functions Fitted by Standard Regression Methods," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 60(1), pages 132-139, February.
    5. Holtz-Eakin, Douglas, 1988. "Testing for individual effects in autoregressive models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 39(3), pages 297-307, November.
    6. Ham, John C & Svejnar, Jan & Terrell, Katherine, 1998. "Unemployment and the Social Safety Net during Transitions to a Market Economy: Evidence from the Czech and Slovak Republics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(5), pages 1117-1142, December.
    7. Profit, Stefan, 1997. "Twin peaks in regional unemployment and returns to scale in job-matching in the Czech Republic," SFB 373 Discussion Papers 1997,63, Humboldt University of Berlin, Interdisciplinary Research Project 373: Quantification and Simulation of Economic Processes.
    8. Nickell, Stephen J, 1981. "Biases in Dynamic Models with Fixed Effects," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(6), pages 1417-1426, November.
    9. Coles, Melvyn G & Smith, Eric, 1998. "Marketplaces and Matching," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 39(1), pages 239-254, February.
    10. Manuel Arellano & Stephen Bond, 1991. "Some Tests of Specification for Panel Data: Monte Carlo Evidence and an Application to Employment Equations," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(2), pages 277-297.
    11. Burda, Michael C & Lubyová, Martina, 1995. "The Impact of Active Labour Market Policies: A Closer Look at the Czech and Slovak Republics," CEPR Discussion Papers 1102, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    12. Warren, Ronald Jr., 1996. "Returns to scale in a matching model of the labor market," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 135-142, January.
    13. Lubyova, Martina & van Ours, Jan, 1994. "The Matching Process in Labour Markets in Transition," East European Series 13, Institute for Advanced Studies.
    14. Denny, Michael & Fuss, Melvyn A, 1977. "The Use of Approximation Analysis to Test for Separability and the Existence of Consistent Aggregates," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(3), pages 404-418, June.
    15. Burda, Michael C, 1992. "Unemployment, Labour Market Institutions and Structural Change in Eastern Europe," CEPR Discussion Papers 746, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    16. Anderson, T. W. & Hsiao, Cheng, 1982. "Formulation and estimation of dynamic models using panel data," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 47-82, January.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Jekaterina Dmitrijeva & Mihails Hazans, 2007. "A Stock-Flow Matching Approach to Evaluation of Public Training Programme in a High Unemployment Environment," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 21(3), pages 503-540, September.
    2. Joanna Tyrowicz & Tomasz Jeruzalski, 2013. "(In)Efficiency of matching: the case of a post-transition economy," Economic Change and Restructuring, Springer, vol. 46(2), pages 255-275, May.
    3. Joanna Tyrowicz & Piotr Wojcik, 2010. "Active Labour Market Policies and Unemployment Convergence in Transition," Review of Economic Analysis, Rimini Centre for Economic Analysis, vol. 2(1), pages 46-72, January.
    4. Kamil Galuscak & Daniel Munich, 2005. "Structural and Cyclical Unemployment: What Can We Derive from the Matching Function?," Working Papers 2005/02, Czech National Bank, Research Department.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • P2 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Systems and Transition Economies
    • J4 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets
    • J6 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers
    • C33 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpdc:0012011. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (EconWPA). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.