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This paper presents a model in which mismatch employment arises in a constrained efficient equilibrium. In the decentralized economy, however, mismatch gives rise to a congestion externality whereby heterogeneous job seekers fail to internalize how their individual actions affect the labor market outcomes of competitors in a common unemployment pool. We provide an analytic characterization of this distortion, assess the distributional nature of the associated welfare effects, and relate it to the relative productivity of low- and high-skilled workers competing for similar jobs.
Offshoring, Mismatch, and Labor Market Outcomes
We study the role of labor market mismatch in the adjustment to a trade liberalization that results in the offshoring of high-tech production. Our model features two-sided heterogeneity in the labor market: high- and low-skilled workers are matched in a frictional labor market with high- and low-tech firms. Mismatch employment occurs when high-skilled workers choose to accept a less desirable job in the low-tech industry. The main result is that--perhaps counter-intuitively--this type of job displacement is actually beneficial for the labor market in the country doing the offshoring. Mismatch ...
Financial Frictions, Asset Prices, and the Great Recession
We study financial shocks to households? ability to borrow in an economy that quantitatively replicates U.S. earnings, financial, and housing wealth distributions and the main macro aggregates. Such shocks generate large recessions via the negative wealth effect associated with the large drop in house prices triggered by the reduced access to credit of a large number of households. The model incorporates additional margins that are crucial for a large recession to occur: that it is difficult to reallocate production from consumption to investment or net exports, and that the reductions in ...
The Welfare Costs of Skill-Mismatch Employment
Skill-mismatch employment occurs when high-skilled individuals accept employment in jobs for which they are over-qualified. These employment relationships can be beneficial because they allow high-skilled individuals to more rapidly transition out of unemployment. They come at the cost, however, in the form of lower wage compensation. Moreover, an externality arises as high-skilled individuals do not take into account the effect that their search activity in the market for low-tech jobs has on low-skilled individuals. This paper presents a tractable general equilibrium model featuring ...
Flexible prices, labor market frictions, and the response of employment to technology shocks
Recent empirical evidence establishes that a positive technology shock leads to a decline in labor inputs. Can a flexible price model enriched with labor market frictions replicate this stylized fact? We develop and estimate a standard flexible price model using Bayesian methods that allows, but does not require, labor market frictions to generate a negative response of employment to a technology shock. We find that labor market frictions account for the fall in labor inputs.
Limited Household Risk Sharing: General Equilibrium Implications for the Term Structure of Interest Rates
We present a theory in which limited risk sharing of idiosyncratic labor income risk plays a key role in determining the dynamics of interest rates. Our production-based model relates the cross-sectional distribution of labor income risk to observable aggregate labor market variables. Our model makes two key predictions. First, it predicts positive risk premia for long-term bonds while simultaneously matching key macroeconomic moments. Second, it predicts a negative correlation between current labor market conditions (as measured by labor market tightness or the job-finding rate) and future ...
The State Dependent Effectiveness of Hiring Subsidies
The responsiveness of job creation to shocks is procyclical, while the responsiveness of job destruction is countercyclical. This new finding can be explained by a heterogeneous-firm model in which hiring costs lead to lumpy employment adjustment. The model predicts that policies that aim to stimulate employment by encouraging job creation, such as hiring subsidies, are significantly less effective in recessions: These are times when few firms are near their hiring threshold and many firms are near their firing threshold. Policies that target the job destruction margin, such as employment ...
The Aggregate Effects of Labor Market Frictions
Labor market frictions are able to induce sluggish aggregate employment dynamics. However, these frictions have strong implications for the source of this propagation: They distort the path of aggregate employment by impeding the flow of labor across firms. For a canonical class of frictions, we show how observable measures of such flows can be used to assess the effect of frictions on aggregate employment dynamics. Application of this approach to establishment microdata for the United States reveals that the empirical flow of labor across firms deviates markedly from the predictions of ...