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Business cycle asymmetries and the labor market

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  • Kohlbrecher, Britta
  • Merkl, Christian

Abstract

This paper shows that a search and matching model with idiosyncratic training cost shocks can explain the asymmetric movement of the job-finding rate over the business cycle and the decline of matching efficiency in recessions. Large negative aggregate shocks move the hiring cutoff into a part of the training cost distribution with higher density. The position of the hiring cutoff in the distribution is disciplined by the empirical elasticity of the job-finding rate with respect to market tightness. Our model explains a large fraction of the matching efficiency decline during the Great Recession and generates state-dependent effects of policy interventions.

Suggested Citation

  • Kohlbrecher, Britta & Merkl, Christian, 2022. "Business cycle asymmetries and the labor market," FAU Discussion Papers in Economics 03/2022, Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Institute for Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:iwqwdp:032022
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    Cited by:

    1. Francesco Zanetti & Konstantinos Theodoridis, 2018. "State Dependence in Labor Market Fluctuations: Evidence, Theory, and Policy Implications," Economics Series Working Papers 856, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    2. Kohlbrecher, Britta & Merkl, Christian & Nordmeier, Daniela, 2016. "Revisiting the matching function," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 69(C), pages 350-374.
    3. Merkl, Christian & Stüber, Heiko, 2024. "Wage and employment cyclicalities at the establishment level," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 161(C).
    4. Ahrens, Steffen & Pirschel, Inske & Snower, Dennis J., 2017. "A theory of price adjustment under loss aversion," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 134(C), pages 78-95.
    5. Gehrke, Britta & Weber, Enzo, 2018. "Identifying asymmetric effects of labor market reforms," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 110(C), pages 18-40.
    6. Britta Gehrke & Brigitte Hochmuth, 2021. "Counteracting Unemployment in Crises: Non‐Linear Effects of Short‐Time Work Policy," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 123(1), pages 144-183, January.
    7. Carlo Pizzinelli & Konstantinos Theodoridis & Francesco Zanetti, 2020. "State Dependence In Labor Market Fluctuations," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 61(3), pages 1027-1072, August.
    8. Dr. Gregor Bäurle & Sarah M. Lein & Elizabeth Steiner, 2017. "Employment Adjustment and Financial Constraints - Evidence from Firm-level Data," Working Papers 2017-18, Swiss National Bank.
    9. Domenico Ferraro, 2023. "Fast Rises, Slow Declines: Asymmetric Unemployment Dynamics with Matching Frictions," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 55(2-3), pages 349-378, March.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Business cycle asymmetries; matching function; Beveridge curve; job-finding rate; unemployment; effectiveness of policy;
    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
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • J63 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Turnover; Vacancies; Layoffs
    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search

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