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Finite Horizon Job Search, Null Offers and the Duration of Search Unemployment


  • Chalkley, Martin


The predictions of job-search theory for an analysis of unemployment have long been of interest (e.g. see Lippman and McCall (1976 b), Barron (1975) and Feinberg (1977)). In particular an important question is with regard to the duration of search unemployment and its determinants. Unfortunately robust results in this area are few. The reason for this being the complexity of the solutions to optimal job search problems. In many cases (see Chalkley (1982) for summary) the optimal search strategy involves setting a reservation wage. If an offer in excess of the reservation wage is obtained it is optimal to accept the offer, otherwise contimued search is preferable. Where the reservation property holds it is relatively simple to relate the expected duration of search unemployment to the (set of) reservation wage(s). However the reservation wage(s) themselves can seldom be expressed analytically. In the absence of analytic expressions for the reservation wages an examination of the effect of changes in parameters of the problem on (for example) the duration of unemployment would seem to require numerical analysis.

Suggested Citation

  • Chalkley, Martin, 1982. "Finite Horizon Job Search, Null Offers and the Duration of Search Unemployment," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 217, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:wrk:warwec:217

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