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Jean-Marc Robin, Paris 1 Print
Tuesday, 25 May 2010, 16:30 - 18:00

On the dynamics of unemployment and wage distributions

Jean-Marc Robin, Université de Paris 1, Panthéon-Sorbonne and University College London

Abstract: Postel-Vinay and Robin’s (2002) sequential auction model is extended to allow for aggregate productivity shocks. Workers exhibit permanent differences in ability while firms are identical. Negative aggregate productivity shocks induce job destruction by driving the surplus of matches with low ability workers to negative values. Endoge- nous job destruction coupled with worker heterogeneity thus provides a mechanism for amplifying productivity shocks that offers an original solution to the unemployment volatility puzzle (Shimer, 2005). Moreover, positive or negative shocks may lead em- ployers and employees to renegotiate low wages up and high wages down when agents’ individual surpluses become negative. The model delivers rich business cycle dynamics of wage distributions and explains why both low wages and high wages are more pro- cyclical than wages in the middle of the distribution and why wage inequality may be countercyclical, as the data seem to suggest is true.


Location: KUL (Econ Dept) - room HOG 02.101 - 69 Naamsestraat, 3000 Leuven
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