Mismatch Unemployment and the Geography of Job Search
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.
We would like to thank Pierre Cahuc, Raj Chetty, Bruno Crépon, Xavier D’Haultfoeuille, François Fontaine, Florence Goffette- Nagot, Larry Katz, Philip Kircher, Francis Kramarz, Thomas Le Barbanchon, Nathan Hendren, Etienne Lehmann, Manasa Patnam, Barbara Petrongolo, Julien Prat, Craig Riddell, Thijs van Rens, EtienneWasmer and participants to seminars at CREST, Cachan/Paris-Sud, GATE (Lyon), Mannheim, Uppsala, Louvainla- Neuve, Bonn, EIEF (Rome), FGV (Rio), PUC (Rio), Sciences Po, Stockholm, Vienna, Warwick, Aarhus, Copenhagen, Montreal, Pompeu Fabra, UIC, Harvard, Harris School (Chicago), Booth (Chicago), Queen Mary, Helsinki, George Washington University, as well as the SaM Meeting at Edinburgh, the ESEM at Toulouse, the workshop Topics in Labor Economics, the NBER LS Spring Meeting at San Francisco 2015, SOLE/EALE world meetings Montreal 2015 for useful comments. We are grateful to CareerBuilder.com for letting us use their data. Any opinions expressed here are those of the authors and not of any institution. The views expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Bureau of Economic Research.
Ioana Marinescu consulted for CareerBuilder.com for a total amount of less than $10,000. CareerBuilder.com has provided the proprietary data used in this paper as part of her consulting engagement.
Ioana Marinescu & Roland Rathelot, 2018. "Mismatch Unemployment and the Geography of Job Search," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, vol 10(3), pages 42-70. citation courtesy of