The cyclicality of hires, separations, and job-to-job transitions
This paper measures the job-finding, separation, and job-to-job transition rates in the United States from 1948 to 2004. The job-finding and job-to-job transition rates are strongly procyclical and the separation rate is nearly acyclical, especially since 1985. The author develops a simple model in which unemployed workers search for jobs and employed workers search for better jobs. The model predicts that an increase in either the job-finding rate or the separation rate raises the job-to-job transition rate, which is qualitatively and quantitatively consistent with the available evidence. In ...
Growing old together: firm survival and employee turnover
Labor market outcomes such as turnover and earnings are correlated with employer characteristics, even after controlling for observable differences in worker characteristics. We argue that this systematic relationship constitutes strong evidence in favor of models where workers choose how much to invest in future productivity. Because employer characteristics are correlated with firm survival, returns to these investments vary across firm types. We describe a dynamic general equilibrium model where workers employed in firms more likely to survive choose to devote more time to productivity ...
Declining job security
Although common belief and recent evidence point to a decline in "job security," the academic literature to date has been noticeably silent regarding the behavioral underpinnings of declining job security. In this paper, I define job security in the context of implicit contracts designed to overcome incentive problems in the employment relationship. Contracts of this nature imply the possibility of inefficient separations in response to adverse shocks, and they generate predictions concerning the relationship between job security parameters-such as worker seniority, aggregate shocks, ...
Diagnosing labor market search models: a multiple-shock approach
We construct a multiple shock, discrete time version of the Mortensen-Pissarides labor market search model to investigate the basic model?s well-known tendency to underpredict the volatility of key labor market variables. In addition to the standard labor productivity shock, we introduce shocks to matching effi ciency and job separation. We conduct two set of experiments. First, we estimate the joint probability distribution of shocks that simultaneously satisfy the observed data and the fi rst-order conditions of the multiple-shock model, and then simulate its properties. Although the ...
Explaining changes in the age distribution of displaced workers
Using Displaced Worker Survey data, this paper examines changes in the age distribution of displaced workers during the 1983?87 and 1993?97 periods. Older workers comprised a significantly larger fraction of displaced workers during the later period. Potential explanations for this phenomenon include demographic shifts in the labor force, changes in technology, and industry and occupational shifts. Kernel density estimates indicate that the aging of the labor force accounts for the majority of the shift in the age distribution of displaced workers. Changes in technology also appear to have ...
The cyclical behavior of job creation and job destruction: a sectoral model
Three key features of the employment process in the U.S. economy are that job creation is procyclical, job destruction is countercyclical, and job creation is less volatile than job destruction. These features are also found at the sectoral (goods and services) level. The paper develops, calibrates, and simulates a two sector general equilibrium model including both aggregate and sectoral shocks. The behavior of the model economy mimics the job creation and destruction facts. Sectoral shocks play a significant role in determining the aggregate level of nonemployment.
Shocked, only not: false positive cases of employment decline
Trade and wages: choosing among alternative explanations
North-South trade competition cannot be an explanation for the adverse trend for U.S. unskilled wages. If wage competition in these industries from abroad pushed down wages, then prices of these goods should also have gone down, and they have not. Also VERs and anti-dumping measures have protected exactly the wage earners supposedly threatened.