De Economist

, Volume 163, Issue 4, pp 435–459 | Cite as

Mismatch on the Dutch Labour Market in the Great Recession

  • Hugo Erken
  • Eric van Loon
  • Wouter Verbeek


We study if labour market mismatch has increased in the Netherlands during the Great Recession. First, we estimate a so-called “steady-state” Beveridge curve based on labour market flows. An outward shift of this curve implies decreasing matching efficiency. Second, we construct a mismatch index which enables us to calculate the contribution of sector mismatch to the increase in unemployment. Our analyses show little support for the hypothesis that mismatch is currently a significant problem for the Dutch labour market. At the aggregate level, the Beveridge curve has not shifted outwards. In addition, at most one-ninth of the Dutch unemployment rise can be attributed to sector mismatch, which is comparable to the contribution during the previous downturn.


Beveridge curve Mismatch Labour market Unemployment Vacancies Great Recession 

JEL Classification

E20 E24 J63 J69 


  1. Arpaia, A., Kiss, A., & Turrini, A. (2014). Is unemployment structural or cyclical? Main features of job matching in the EU after the crisis, Economic Papers 527. European Commission, Brussels.Google Scholar
  2. Barnichon, R. (2012). Vacancy posting, job separation and unemployment fluctuations. Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, 36(3), 315–330.zbMATHMathSciNetCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Barnichon, R., Elsby, M., Hobijn, B., & Şahin, A. (2012). Which industries are shifting the Beveridge curve? Monthly Labor Review, 135, 25–37.Google Scholar
  4. Barnichon, R., & Figura, A. (2011). What drives matching efficiency? A tale of composition and dispersion. Division of Research & Statistics and Monetary Affairs, Federal Reserve Board.Google Scholar
  5. Bauer, T. K., & Bender, S. (2004). Technological change, organizational change, and job turnover. Labour Economics, 11(3), 265–291.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bierings, H., & de Vries, R. (2014). Jeugdwerkloosheid als optelsom van twee groepen. Economisch Statistische Berichten, 99(4687), 367–368.Google Scholar
  7. Blanchard, O., & Diamond, P. (1989). The Beveridge curve. Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, 1, 1–76.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Broersma, L., & van Ours, J. C. (1999). Job searchers, job matches and the elasticity of matching. Labour Economics, 6, 77–93.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Canon, M. E., Chen, M., & Marifian, A. E. (2013). Labor mismatch in the Great Recession: A review of indexes using recent US data, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis Review, 95(3), 237–272.Google Scholar
  10. Clark, K., & Summers, L. (1981). Demographic differences in cyclical employment variation. Journal of Human Resources, 16, 61–79.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. CPB. (2014). Roads to recovery. The Hague.Google Scholar
  12. Daly, M. C., Hobijn, B., Şahin, A., & Valletta, R. G. (2012). A search and matching approach to labor markets: Did the natural rate of unemployment rise? The Journal of Economic Perspectives, 26(3), 3–26.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Davis, S. J., & Haltiwanger J. (1990). Gross job creation and destruction: Microeconomic evidence and macroeconomic implications. In NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1990 (Vol. 5, pp. 123–186). MIT Press.Google Scholar
  14. Deelen, A., de Graaf-Zijl, M., & van den Berge, W. (2014). Labour market effects of job displacement for prime-age and older workers, CPB Discussion Paper 285, The Hague.Google Scholar
  15. Efron, B. (1981). Nonparametric estimates of standard error: The jackknife, the bootstrap and other methods. Biometrika, 68(3), 589–599.zbMATHMathSciNetCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Elsby, M., Michaels, R., & Ratner, D. (2016). The Beveridge curve: A survey. Journal of Economic Literature.Google Scholar
  17. Elsby, M., Solon, G., & Michaels, R. (2009). The ins and outs of cyclical unemployment. American Economic Journal, 1, 84–110.Google Scholar
  18. Erken, H. P. G., van Loon, E. J. M., & Verbeek, W. P. (2015). Mismatch on the Dutch labour market in the Great Recession, CPB Discussion Paper 303, The Hague.Google Scholar
  19. European Commission. (2013). Labour market developments in Europe 2013, European Economy 6|2013, Brussels.Google Scholar
  20. Fujita, S., & Ramey, G. (2009). The cyclicality of separation and job-finding rates. International Economic Review, 50(2), 415–430.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Goldin, C., & Katz, L. (2008). The race between education and technology. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  22. Groshen, E. L., & Potter, S. (2003). Has structural change contributed to a jobless recovery? Current Issues in Economics and Finance, 9(8), 1–7.Google Scholar
  23. Hall, R. (2005). Employment fluctuations with steady-state wage stickiness. American Economic Review, 95(1), 50–65.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Hobijn, B., & Şahin, A. (2013). Beveridge curve shifts across countries since the Great Recession. IMF Economic Review, 61(4), 566–600.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Jackman, R., & Roper, S. (1987). Structural unemployment. Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, 49(1), 9–36.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Katz, L. (2010). Long-term unemployment in the Great Recession. Testimony for the Joint Economic Committee, US Congress, p. 29.Google Scholar
  27. Lazear, E. P., & Spletzer, J. R. (2012). The United States labor market: Status quo or a new normal? National Bureau of Economic Research, NBER Working Paper, no. w18386, Cambridge, MAGoogle Scholar
  28. Lundberg, S. (1985). The added worker effect. Journal of Labor Economics, 3(1), 11–37.Google Scholar
  29. Marthin, G. (2012). Measuring mismatch in the Swedish labour market. Swedish Fiscal Policy Council, 2012/3.Google Scholar
  30. Michaillat, P. (2012). Do matching frictions explain unemployment? Not in bad times. American Economic Review, 102(4), 1721–1750.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Mortensen, D. T., & Pissarides, C. A. (1994). Job creation and job destruction in the theory of unemployment. The Review of Economic Studies, 61(3), 397–415.zbMATHCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Nickell, S., Nunziata, L., Ochel, W., & Quintini, G. (2003). The Beveridge Curve, unemployment and wages in the OECD from the 1960s to the 1990s. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  33. OECD. (1993). Economic survey of the Netherlands. Paris.Google Scholar
  34. Petrongolo, B., & Pissarides, C. A. (2001). Looking into the black box: A survey of the matching function. Journal of Economic Literature, 39(2), 390–431.Google Scholar
  35. Pissarides, C. (2001). Steady-state unemployment theory (2nd ed.). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  36. Rothstein, J. (2011). Unemployment insurance and job search in the Great Recession. National Bureau of Economic Research, NBER Working Paper, no. w17534, Cambridge, MAGoogle Scholar
  37. Şahin, A., Song, J., Topa, G., & Violante, G. L. (2014). Mismatch unemployment. American Economic Review, 104(11), 3529–3564.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Sedláček, P. (2014). Match efficiency and firms’ hiring standards. Journal of Monetary Economics, 62, 123–133.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Shibata, M. I. (2013). Is labor market mismatch a big deal in Japan? International Monetary Fund, Discussion paper no. 13–196.Google Scholar
  40. Shimer, R. (2005). The cyclical behavior of equilibrium unemployment and vacancies. American Economic Review, 95(1), 25–49.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Smith, J. C. (2011). The ins and outs of UK unemployment. The Economic Journal, 121(552), 402–444.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. van den Berge, W., Erken, H., de Graaf-Zijl, M., & van Loon, E. (2014). The Dutch labour market during the Great Recession. CPB background document, The Hague.Google Scholar
  43. van Loon, E., Loog, B., van der Horst, A., & Souren, M. (2014). De oploop van de werkloosheid ontleed. TPE Digitaal, 8(1), 65–83.Google Scholar
  44. van Ours, J. C. (1991). The efficiency of the dutch labour market in matching unemployment and vacancies. De Economist, 139, 358–378.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.RabobankUtrechtThe Netherlands
  2. 2.CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy AnalysisThe HagueThe Netherlands

Personalised recommendations