NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Externalities from Labor Mobility

Laurence Ball

NBER Working Paper No. 3720
Issued in May 1991
NBER Program(s):   EFG

This paper assumes that workers can move from a market with high unemployment to one with low unemployment at a cost. In principle. equilibrium mobility can be greater or less than the social optimum. For most plausible parameter values. however. mobility is too low. Intuitively. mobility has a beneficial externality: it helps workers remaining in the high-unemployment market by reducing competition for jobs. Mobility hurts workers in the market that movers join, but this effect is usually smaller.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w3720

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