Comparative Advantage and Unemployment

35 Pages Posted: 3 Jun 2009 Last revised: 28 Jul 2010

See all articles by Mark Bils

Mark Bils

University of Rochester - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Yongsung Chang

University of Rochester - Department of Economics; Yonsei University - Department of Economics

Sun-Bin Kim

Concordia University, Quebec - Department of Economics

Date Written: June 2009

Abstract

We model unemployment allowing workers to differ by comparative advantage in market work. Workers with comparative advantage are identified by who works more hours when employed. This enables us to test the model by grouping workers based on their long-term wages and hours from panel data. The model captures the greater cyclicality of employment for workers with low comparative advantage. But the model fails to explain the magnitude of countercyclical separations for high-wage workers or the magnitude of procyclical findings for high-hours workers. As a result, it only captures the cyclicality of the extensive, employment margin for low-wage, low-hours workers.

Suggested Citation

Bils, Mark and Chang, Yongsung and Kim, Sun-Bin, Comparative Advantage and Unemployment (June 2009). NBER Working Paper No. w15030. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1413594

Mark Bils (Contact Author)

University of Rochester - Department of Economics ( email )

Harkness Hall
Rochester, NY 14627-0158
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Yongsung Chang

University of Rochester - Department of Economics ( email )

Harkness Hall
Rochester, NY 14627
United States

Yonsei University - Department of Economics ( email )

50 Yonsei-Ro
Seoul, 120-749
Korea

Sun-Bin Kim

Concordia University, Quebec - Department of Economics ( email )

1455 de Maisonneuve Blvd., W.
Montreal, Quebec H3G 1MB
Canada
514-848-3923 (Phone)

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