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The Cyclicality of On-the-Job Search Effort

Ahn Hie Joo () and Shao Ling ()
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Ahn Hie Joo: Federal Reserve Board, Washington, DC, USA
Shao Ling: Amazon, Washington, DC, USA

The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, 2021, vol. 21, issue 1, 185-220

Abstract: This paper provides new evidence for cyclicality in the job-search effort of employed workers, on-the-job search (OJS) intensity, in the U.S. using American Time Use Survey and various cyclical indicators. We find that the probability of an employed worker to engage in OJS is statistically significantly countercyclical, while time spent on OJS of an employed job seeker is weakly countercyclical. The fear of job loss, employment uncertainty, and workers’ financial situations is crucial in the job search decision of employed individuals. The results imply that the precautionary motive might be the key driver of the countercyclicality in OJS intensity.

Keywords: on-the-job search; business cycles; labor flows; time use (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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DOI: 10.1515/bejm-2019-0245

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