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Uninsurable individual risk and the cyclical behavior of unemployment and vacancies
This paper is concerned with the business cycle dynamics in search-and-matching models of the labor market when agents are ex post heterogeneous. We focus on wealth heterogeneity that comes as a result of imperfect opportunities to insure against idiosyncratic risk. We show that this heterogeneity implies wage rigidity relative to a complete insurance economy. The fraction of wealth-poor agents prevents real wages from falling too much in recessions since small decreases in income imply large losses in utility. Analogously, wages rise less in expansions compared with the standard model ...
Fixed-term and permanent employment contracts: theory and evidence
This paper constructs a theory of the coexistence of fixed-term and permanent employment contracts in an environment with ex ante identical workers and employers. Workers under fixed-term contracts can be dismissed at no cost while permanent employees enjoy labor protection. In a labor market characterized by search and matching frictions, firms find it optimal to discriminate by offering some workers a fixed-term contract while offering other workers a permanent contract. Match-specific quality between a worker and a firm determines the type of contract offered. We analytically characterize ...
Accounting for the cyclical dynamics of income shares
Over the business cycle, labor's share of output is negatively but weakly correlated with output, and it lags output by about four quarters. Profit's share is strongly procyclical. It neither leads nor lags output, and its volatility is about four times that of output. Despite the importance of understanding the dynamics of income shares for understanding aggregate technology and the degree of competition in factor markets, macroeconomics lacks models that can account for these dynamics. This paper constructs a model that can replicate those facts. We introduce costly entry of firms in a ...
Firm entry and labor market dynamics
We present a model of aggregate fluctuations in which monopolistic firms face sunk costs to enter the production process and labor markets are characterized by search and matching frictions. Entrants post vacancies and are matched to idle workers. Our specification of sunk costs gives rise to a countercyclical net present value of a vacancy; it is always zero in models where entry is free. The model displays a strong degree of amplification and propagation. The time-varying value of a vacancy has implications for the surplus division between firms and workers over business cycle. In the data, ...