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Unemployment and the labor share

Sephorah Mangin () and Petr Sedlacek ()

Journal of Monetary Economics, 2018, vol. 94, issue C, 41-59

Abstract: The labor share fluctuates over the business cycle. To explain this behavior, we develop a novel model featuring direct competition between heterogeneous firms to hire workers. This simultaneously endogenizes both average match productivity and the division of output between workers and firms. In existing matches, wages partly reflect labor market conditions at the time of hiring. A positive TFP shock therefore reduces the aggregate labor share, making it counter-cyclical. However, greater competition and lower unemployment increase labor’s share among new firms. As more firms enter, the aggregate labor share rises and eventually overshoots its initial level, as in the data.

Keywords: Labor share; Factor shares; Unemployment; Cohort effects; Heterogeneous firms (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: E23 E24 E25 E32 J64 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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Working Paper: Unemployment and the Labor Share (2015) Downloads
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