Journal Of The Econometric Society

An International Society for the Advancement of Economic
Theory in its Relation to Statistics and Mathematics

Edited by: Guido W. Imbens • Print ISSN: 0012-9682 • Online ISSN: 1468-0262

Econometrica: Nov, 2017, Volume 85, Issue 6

Uncertainty and Unemployment
p. 1675-1721

Edouard Schaal

This paper studies the impact of time‐varying idiosyncratic risk at the establishment level on unemployment fluctuations over 1972–2009. I build a tractable directed search model with firm dynamics and time‐varying idiosyncratic volatility. The model allows for endogenous separations, entry and exit, and job‐to‐job transitions. I show that the model can replicate salient features of the microeconomic behavior of firms and that the introduction of volatility improves the fit of the model for standard business cycle moments. In a series of counterfactual experiments, I show that time‐varying risk is important to account for the magnitude of fluctuations in aggregate unemployment for past U.S. recessions. Though the model can account for about 40% of the total increase in unemployment for the 2007–2009 recession, uncertainty alone is not sufficient to explain the magnitude and persistence of unemployment during that episode.

Log In To View Full Content

Supplemental Material

Supplement to "Uncertainty and Unemployment"

This appendix contains material not found within the manuscript.

Supplement to "Uncertainty and Unemployment"

This zip file contains the replication files for the manuscript.