a1 Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis
a2 Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland
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 efficiency and job separation. We estimate the multiple-shock model and then simulate its properties. Although it generates significantly more volatility while preserving the Beveridge curve relationship, the multiple-shock model generates counterfactual implications for the cyclicality of job separations. Using a business cycle accounting approach, next we show that the model requires significantly procyclical and volatile matching efficiency and counterfactually procyclical job separations to render the observed data without error. We conjecture that the basic Mortensen–Pissarides model lacks mechanisms to generate sufficiently strong labor market reallocation over the business cycle, and suggest nontrivial labor force participation and job-to-job transitions as promising avenues of research.
We would like to thank Russell W. Cooper, Dean Corbae, John Jones, and an anonymous referee for insightful comments and suggestions. We also wish to thank participants in the Midwest Macroeconomics Meetings, North America Econometric Society Meetings, Society for Economic Dynamics, and Macro Tea seminar at the University of Texas at Austin for helpful comments on an earlier version of this paper titled as “On the Cyclicality of Labor Market Mismatch and Aggregate Employment Flows.” The views expressed herein are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, or the Federal Reserve System.