NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Sorting Models of Labor Mobility, Turnover, and Unemployment

W. Kip Viscusi

NBER Working Paper No. 371
Issued in July 1979
NBER Program(s):   ITI   IFM

Utilizing a model in which individuals search among lotteries on likely success at different jobs, this paper analyzes both the search decision when unemployed and the implications of the sorting process. The model correctly predicts both the direction and convexity of the age-unemployment relationship and the impact of experience on turnover and wages. Actions taken when unemployed have an important impact on equilibrium turnover rates, unemployment rates, and the work history of the pool of unemployed. The sorting model is used to analyze racial differences in youth unemployment and major empirical features of low income labor markets.

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