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Author:Sahin, Aysegul 

Job search behavior over the business cycle

We create a novel measure of job search effort starting in 1994 by exploiting the overlap between the Current Population Survey and the American Time Use Survey. We examine the cyclical behavior of aggregate job search effort using time series and cross-state variation and find that it is countercyclical. About half of the countercyclical movement is explained by a cyclical shift in the observable characteristics of the unemployed. Individual responses to labor market conditions and drops in wealth are important in explaining the remaining variation.
Staff Reports , Paper 689

Discussion Paper
Searching for Higher Wages

Since the peak of the recession, the unemployment rate has fallen by almost 5 percentage points, and observers continue to focus on whether and when this decline will lead to robust wage growth. Typically, in the wake of such a decline, real wages grow since there is more competition for workers among potential employers. While this relationship has historically been quite informative, real wage growth more recently has not been commensurate with observed declines in the unemployment rate.
Liberty Street Economics , Paper 20150902

Working Paper
Unemployment dynamics in the OECD

We provide a set of comparable estimates for the rates of inflow to and outflow from unemployment for 14 OECD economies using publicly available data. We then devise a method to decompose changes in unemployment into contributions accounted for by changes in inflow and outflow rates for cases where unemployment deviates from its flow steady state, as it does in many countries. Our decomposition reveals that fluctuations in both inflow and outflow rates contribute substantially to unemployment variation within countries. For Anglo-Saxon economies we find approximately a 20:80 inflow/outflow ...
Working Paper Series , Paper 2009-04

Mismatch unemployment

We develop a framework where mismatch between vacancies and job seekers across sectors translates into higher unemployment by lowering the aggregate job-finding rate. We use this framework to measure the contribution of mismatch to the recent rise in U.S. unemployment by exploiting two sources of cross-sectional data on vacancies: JOLTS and HWOL (a new database covering the universe of online U.S. job advertisements). Mismatch across industries and occupations explains at most one-third of the total observed increase in the unemployment rate. Geographical mismatch plays no apparent role. ...
Staff Reports , Paper 566

Firms and flexibility

We study the effects of labor market rigidities and frictions on firm-size distributions and dynamics. We introduce a model of endogenous entrepreneurship, labor market frictions, and firm-size dynamics with many types of rigidities, such as hiring and firing costs, search frictions with vacancy costs, unemployment benefits, firm entry costs, and a tax wedge between wages and labor costs. We use the model to analyze how each rigidity explains firm-size differentials between the United States and France. We find that when we include all rigidities and frictions except hiring costs and search ...
Staff Reports , Paper 311

Why did the average duration of unemployment become so much longer?

This paper examines the causes of the observed increase in the average duration of unemployment over the past thirty years. First we analyze whether changes in the demographic composition of the U.S. labor force, particularly the age and gender composition, can explain this increase. We then consider the contribution of institutional changes, such as the change in the generosity and coverage of unemployment insurance. We find that changes in the composition of the labor force and institutional changes can only partially account for the longer duration of unemployment. We construct a job ...
Staff Reports , Paper 194

Job-finding and separation rates in the OECD

In this paper, we provide a set of comparable estimates of aggregate monthly job-finding and separation rates for twenty-seven OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) countries; these estimates can be used for the cross-country calibration of search models of unemployment. We find that cross-country differences in job-finding rates are much greater than those in separation rates. Our results are quantitatively and qualitatively in line with those published in previous studies; however, they cover a much larger set of countries. We combine our estimates with evidence on ...
Staff Reports , Paper 298

Working Paper
Which industries are shifting the Beveridge curve?

The negative relationship between the unemployment rate and the job openings rate, known as the Beveridge curve, has been relatively stable in the U.S. over the last decade. Since the summer of 2009, however, the U.S. unemployment rate has hovered between 9.4 and 10.1 percent in spite of firms reporting more job openings. We decompose the recent deviation from the Beveridge curve into different parts using data from the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS). We find that most of the current deviation from the Beveridge curve can be attributed to a shortfall in the vacancy yield, ...
Working Paper Series , Paper 2010-32

Discussion Paper
The Long-Term Unemployed and the Wages of New Hires

This is the third in a series of blog posts on the topic of measuring labor market slack. In this post, we assess the relationships between short- and long-term unemployment and wages by comparing the differences in states’ experiences over the business cycle. While all states felt the impact of the Great Recession, some fared better than others. Consequently, it is possible to use differences in the composition and shifts of short- and long-term unemployment to determine whether short-term unemployment exerts a greater influence on wage determination. The results suggest that there is ...
Liberty Street Economics , Paper 20141119

Journal Article
The unemployment gender gap during the 2007 recession

Women fared decidedly better than men during the most recent recession. By August 2009, the unemployment rate for men had hit 11.0 percent, while that for women held at 8.3 percent. This 2.7 percentage point unemployment gender gap--the largest in the postwar era--appears to reflect two factors: first, men were much more heavily represented in the industries that suffered the most during the downturn. Second, there was a much sharper increase in the percentage of men who--prompted, perhaps, by a decline in household liquidity--rejoined the labor force but failed to find a job.
Current Issues in Economics and Finance , Volume 16 , Issue Feb


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