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Business Cycle Asymmetries and the Labor Market

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  • Merkl, Christian
  • Kohlbrecher, Britta

Abstract

This paper shows that the matching function and the Beveridge curve in the United States exhibit strong nonlinearities over the business cycle. These patterns can be replicated by enhancing a search and matching model with idiosyncratic productivity shocks for new contacts. Large negative aggregate shocks move the hiring cutoff point into a part of the idiosyncratic density function with higher density and thereby generate large, asymmetric job-finding rate and unemployment reactions. Our proposed mechanism is of high relevance as it leads to time varying effects of certain policy interventions.

Suggested Citation

  • Merkl, Christian & Kohlbrecher, Britta, 2016. "Business Cycle Asymmetries and the Labor Market," Annual Conference 2016 (Augsburg): Demographic Change 145704, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:vfsc16:145704
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. repec:nbr:nberch:13342 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Brown, Alessio & Merkl, Christian & Snower, Dennis, 2015. "An Incentive Theory Of Matching," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 19(03), pages 643-668, April.
    3. Marcus Hagedorn & Iourii Manovskii, 2008. "The Cyclical Behavior of Equilibrium Unemployment and Vacancies Revisited," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(4), pages 1692-1706, September.
    4. Sanjay K. Chugh & Wolfgang Lechthalerz & Christian Merkl, 2015. "Optimal Fiscal Policy with Labor Selection," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 884, Boston College Department of Economics.
    5. Fair, Ray C & Taylor, John B, 1983. "Solution and Maximum Likelihood Estimation of Dynamic Nonlinear Rational Expectations Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(4), pages 1169-1185, July.
    6. Alan J. Auerbach & Yuriy Gorodnichenko, 2012. "Measuring the Output Responses to Fiscal Policy," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 4(2), pages 1-27, May.
    7. Kohlbrecher, Britta & Merkl, Christian & Nordmeier, Daniela, 2016. "Revisiting the matching function," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 69(C), pages 350-374.
    8. Jushan Bai & Serena Ng, 2005. "Tests for Skewness, Kurtosis, and Normality for Time Series Data," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 23, pages 49-60, January.
    9. Hochmuth, Brigitte & Gartner, Hermann & Kohlbrecher, Britta & Merkl, Christian, 2016. "Labor selection over the business cycle: An empirical assessment," FAU Discussion Papers in Economics 02/2016, Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Institute for Economics.
    10. Domenico Ferraro, 2014. "The Asymmetric Cyclical Behavior of the U.S. Labor Market," 2014 Meeting Papers 1104, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    11. Christopher A. Pissarides, 2000. "Equilibrium Unemployment Theory, 2nd Edition," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262161877, January.
    12. Litterman, Robert B, 1983. "A Random Walk, Markov Model for the Distribution of Time Series," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 1(2), pages 169-173, April.
    13. Litterman, Robert B, 1983. "A Random Walk, Markov Model for the Distribution of Time Series," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 1(2), pages 169-173, April.
    14. Simon Mongey & Gianluca Violante & Alessandro Gavazza, 2014. "What Shifts the Beveridge Curve? Recruitment Effort and Financial Shocks," 2014 Meeting Papers 1014, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    15. Simon Mongey & Gianluca Violante & Alessandro Gavazza, 2015. "What Shifts the Beveridge Curve? Recruiting Intensity and Financial Shocks," 2015 Meeting Papers 1079, Society for Economic Dynamics.
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    Cited by:

    1. Kohlbrecher, Britta & Merkl, Christian & Nordmeier, Daniela, 2016. "Revisiting the matching function," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 69(C), pages 350-374.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. Gehrke, Britta & Weber, Enzo, 2017. "Identifying asymmetric effects of labor market reforms," IAB Discussion Paper 201723, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
    5. Gehrke, Britta & Hochmuth, Brigitte, 2017. "Counteracting unemployment in crises : non-linear effects of short-time work policy," IAB Discussion Paper 201727, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].

    More about this item

    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
    • E00 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General - - - General

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