We create a novel measure of job search effort exploiting the American Time Use and Current Population Surveys. We examine the cyclicality of search effort using time-series, cross-state, and individual variation and find that it is countercyclical. We then set up a search and matching model with endogenous search effort and show that search effort does not amplify labor market fluctuations but rather dampens them. Lastly, we examine the role of search effort in driving recent unemployment dynamics and show that the unemployment rate would have been 0.5 to 1 percentage points higher in the 2008–2014 period had search effort not increased.
"Job Search Behavior over the Business Cycle."
American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics,