IZA DP No. 3396: Life-Cycle Equilibrium Unemployment
published in: Journal of Labor Economics, 2013, 31, 843-882
This paper develops a life-cycle approach to equilibrium unemployment. Workers only differ respectively to their distance from deterministic retirement. A non age-directed search equilibrium is then typically featured by increasing (decreasing) firing (hiring) rates with age and a hump-shaped age profile for employment. Because of intergenerational inefficiencies, the Hosios condition no longer achieves efficiency. We then explore the optimal age-pattern of some policy tools to restore this efficiency. The optimal profile for employment subsidies should increase with age, whereas firing taxes and hirings subsidies would have to be hump-shaped. Lastly, we examine the robustness of our results. We show that age-directed recruitment policies cannot exist in equilibrium even if it would have been ex-ante possible, and that introducing endogenous search effort of unemployed workers reinforces our main results.