Working Paper

Precautionary On-the-Job Search over the Business Cycle


Abstract: This paper provides new evidence for cyclicality in the job-search effort of employed workers, on-the-job search (OJS) intensity, in the United States using American Time Use Survey and various cyclical indicators. We find that OJS intensity is countercyclical along both the extensive and intensive margins, with the countercyclicality of extensive margin stronger than the other. An increase in the layoffs rate and the deterioration in expectations about future personal financial situation are the primary factors that raise OJS intensity. Our findings suggest that the precautionary motive in the job search is a crucial driver of the countercyclicality in OJS intensity.

Keywords: On-the-job search; Business cycles; Labor flows; Time use;

JEL Classification: E24; E32; J22; J63;

https://doi.org/10.17016/FEDS.2017.025

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Bibliographic Information

Provider: Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.)

Part of Series: Finance and Economics Discussion Series

Publication Date: 2017-02-24

Number: 2017-025