Mismatch Unemployment and the Geography of Job Search

70 Pages Posted: 26 Sep 2016

See all articles by Ioana Elena Marinescu

Ioana Elena Marinescu

University of Pennsylvania - School of Social Policy & Practice; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Roland Rathelot

University of Warwick - Department of Economics

Date Written: September 2016

Abstract

Could we significantly reduce U.S. unemployment by helping job seekers move closer to jobs? Using data from the leading employment board CareerBuilder.com, we show that, indeed, workers dislike applying to distant jobs: job seekers are 35% less likely to apply to a job 10 miles away from their ZIP code of residence. However, because job seekers are close enough to vacancies on average, this distaste for distance is fairly inconsequential: our search and matching model predicts that relocating job seekers to minimize unemployment would decrease unemployment by only 5.3%. Geographic mismatch is thus a minor driver of aggregate unemployment.

Suggested Citation

Marinescu, Ioana Elena and Rathelot, Roland, Mismatch Unemployment and the Geography of Job Search (September 2016). NBER Working Paper No. w22672. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2843385

Ioana Elena Marinescu (Contact Author)

University of Pennsylvania - School of Social Policy & Practice ( email )

3701 Locust Walk
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6214
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Roland Rathelot

University of Warwick - Department of Economics ( email )

Coventry CV4 7AL
United Kingdom

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