The CompNet Competitiveness Database The Competitiveness Research Network (CompNet)...
Why is Unemployment so Countercyclical?
Review of Economic Dynamics,
We argue that wage inertia plays a pivotal role in allowing empirically plausible variants of the standard search and matching model to account for the large countercyclical response of unemployment to shocks.
Labor Market Volatility, Skills, and Financial Globalization
We analyze the impact of financial globalization on volatilities of hours worked and wages of high-skilled and low-skilled workers. Using cross-country, industry-level data for the years 1970–2004, we establish stylized facts that document how volatilities of hours worked and wages of workers with different skill levels have changed over time. We then document that the volatility of hours worked by low-skilled workers has increased the most in response to the increase in financial globalization. We develop a dynamic stochastic general equilibrium model of a small open economy that is consistent with the empirical results. The model predicts that greater financial globalization increases the volatility of hours worked, and this effect is strongest for low-skilled workers.
Has Labor Income Become More Volatile? Evidence from International Industry-Level Data
German Economic Review,
Changes in labor market institutions and the increasing integration of the world economy may affect the volatility of capital and labor incomes. This article documents and analyzes changes in income volatility using data for 11 industrialized countries, 22 industries and 35 years (1970–2004). The article has four main findings. First, the unconditional volatility of labor income has declined in parallel to the decline in macroeconomic volatility. Second, the industry-specific, idiosyncratic component of labor income volatility has hardly changed. Third, cross-sectional heterogeneity is substantial. If anything, the labor incomes of high- and low-skilled workers have become more volatile relative to the volatility of capital incomes. Fourth, the volatility of labor income relative to the volatility of capital income declines in the labor share. Trade openness has no clear-cut impact.
Low Skill but High Volatility?
CESifo Working Paper No. 2665,
Globalization may impose a double-burden on low-skilled workers. On the one hand, the relative supply of low-skilled labor increases. This suppresses wages of low-skilled workers and/or increases their unemployment rates. On the other hand, low-skilled workers typically face more limited access to financial markets than high-skilled workers. This limits their ability to smooth shocks to income intertemporally and to share risks across borders. Using cross-country, industry-level data for the years 1970 - 2004, we document how the volatility of hours worked and of wages of workers at different skill levels has changed over time. We develop a stylized theoretical model that is consistent with the empirical evidence, and we test the predictions of the model. Our results show that greater financial globalization and development increases the volatility of employment, and this effect is strongest for low-skilled workers. A higher share of low-skilled employment has a dampening impact.