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The Cyclical Behavior of Equilibrium Unemployment and Vacancies across OECD Countries


We show that the inability of a standardly calibrated labor search-and-matching model to account for labor market volatility extends beyond the U.S. to a set of OECD countries. That is, the volatility puzzle is ubiquitous. We argue cross-country data is helpful in scrutinizing between potential solutions to this puzzle. To illustrate this, we show that the solution proposed in Hagedorn and Manovskii (2008) continues to deliver counterfactually low volatility in countries where labor-productivity persistence and/or steady-state job-finding rates are sufficiently low. Moreover, the model's ability to generate high enough volatility depends on vacancy-filling-rate levels that seem counterfactual outside the U.S.

JEL Classication: E24, E32, J63, J64.

Keywords: Labor Market, Vacancies, Unemployment, OECD countries.


Suggested citation: Amaral, Pedro S. and Murat Tasci, 2012. "The Cyclical Behavior of Equilibrium Unemployment and Vacancies across OECD Countries," Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, Working Paper no. 12-36.

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