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The Cyclical Behavior of Unemployment and Wages under Information Frictions
I propose a new mechanism for sluggish wages based on workers' noisy information about the state of the economy. Wages do not respond immediately to a positive aggregate shock because workers do not (yet) have enough information to demand higher wages. This increases firms' incentives to post more vacancies, which makes unemployment volatile and sensitive to aggregate shocks. The model is robust to two major criticisms of existing theories of sluggish wages and volatile unemployment: flexibility of wages for new hires and pro-cyclicality of the opportunity cost of employment. Calibrated to ...
The Cyclicality of Labor Force Participation Flows: The Role of Labor Supply Elasticities and Wage Rigidity
Using a representative-household search and matching model with endogenous labor force participation, we study the cyclicality of labor market transition rates between employment, unemployment, and nonparticipation. When interpreted through the lens of the model, the behavior of transition rates implies that the participation margin is strongly countercyclical: the household’s incentive to send more workers to the labor force falls in expansions. We identify two key channels through which the model delivers this result: (i) the procyclical values of non-market activities and (ii) wage ...
Elasticities of Labor Supply and Labor Force Participation Flows
REVISED MARCH 2019 Using a representative-household search and matching model with endogenous labor force participation, we study the interactions between extensive-margin labor supply elasticities and the cyclicality of labor force participation flows. Our model successfully replicates salient business-cycle features of all transition rates between three labor market states, the unemployment rate, and the labor force participation rate, while using values of elasticities consistent with micro evidence. Our results underscore the importance of the procyclical opportunity cost of employment, ...