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Journal of Economic Literature: Vol. 39 No. 2 (June 2001)

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Looking into the Black Box: A Survey of the Matching Function

Article Citation

Petrongolo, Barbara, and Christopher A. Pissarides. 2001. "Looking into the Black Box: A Survey of the Matching Function." Journal of Economic Literature, 39(2): 390-431.

DOI: 10.1257/jel.39.2.390

Abstract

This paper surveys the microfoundations, empirical evidence, and estimation issues underlying the aggregate matching function. There is no consensus yet on microfoundations but one is emerging on estimation. An aggregate, constant returns, Cobb-Douglas matching function with hires as a function of vacancies and unemployment has been successfully estimated for several countries. Recent work has utilized disaggregated data to go beyond aggregate estimates, with many refinements and suggestions for future research. The paper discusses spatial aggregation issues, and implications of on-the-job search and of the timing of stocks and flows for estimated matching functions.

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Authors

Petrongolo, Barbara (U Carlos III Madrid, Center for Econ Performance, and CEPR)
Pissarides, Christopher A. (Centre for Econ Performance, London School of Econ, and CEPR)

JEL Classifications

J41: Labor Contracts
E24: Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital


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