How Tight is the Labour Market? Sources of Changes in the Aggregate Exit Rate from Unemployment across the Business Cycle
Journal of Business cycle Measurement and Analysis 3(2), 2007, pages 155 - 174
We decompose variations in the aggregate exit rate from unemployment to employment into two factors: i) Changes in the arrival rate of acceptable job offers; and ii) changes in the composition of the unemployment pool in terms of average employability. We argue that the former of these factors provides the basis for an informative labour market tightness indicator, while the latter yields valuable information regarding the design of optimal labour market policies across the cycle. Based on Norwegian register data, we find that individual monthly exit rates tend to double from a cyclical trough to a cyclical peak, ceteris paribus, but that crosssectional heterogeneity nevertheless explains 88 per cent of the overall variation in individual monthly exit probabilities during the period from 1989 to 2002.