October 2009

IZA DP No. 4501: Credit Constraints and the Persistence of Unemployment

published in: Labour Economics, 2010, 17 (5), 823-834

In this paper, we argue that credit market imperfections impact not only the level of unemployment, but also its persistence. For this purpose, we first develop a theoretical model based on the equilibrium matching framework of Mortensen and Pissarides (1999) and Pissarides (2000) where we introduce credit constraints. We show these credit constraints not only increase steady-state unemployment, but also slow down the transitional dynamics. We then provide an empirical illustration based on a country panel dataset of 20 OECD countries. Our results suggest that credit market imperfections significantly increase the persistence of unemployment.