Job Search Theory

  • Alessandra Faggian
Reference work entry


This chapter summarizes the main developments in job search theory ever since its inception in the 1970s. After describing the assumptions and formulation of the basic model, the chapter moves onto analyzing how the original framework has been extended by removing some of the initial limitations. A separate section is then devoted to the matching function theory which represents one of the main developments of job search theory in more recent years and whose importance has been recognized by the award of the 2010 Nobel Prize in economics. The last section attempts to reconcile job search and migration theory by introducing the role of space and describing the main contributions on these topics by regional economists.


Human Capital Matching Function Local Labor Market Reservation Wage Unemployed Worker 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



I acknowledge the support of research grant ECO2010-16006 by the Spanish Ministry of Science.


  1. Albrecht J (2011) Search theory: the 2010 Nobel memorial prize in economic sciences. Scand J Econ 113(2):237–259CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Basker E (2003) Education, job search and migration. University of Missouri working paper, 02–16Google Scholar
  3. Blanchard OJ, Diamond PA (1989) The Beveridge curve. Brook Pap Econ Activity 1:1–76CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Blau DM (1992) An empirical analysis of employed and unemployed job search behavior. Ind Labor Relat Rev 45(4):738–752CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Burdett K (1978) A theory of employee job search and quit rates. Am Econ Rev 68(1):212–220Google Scholar
  6. Cox JC, Oaxaca RL (2000) Good news and bad news: search from unknown wage offer distributions. Exp Econ 2(3):197–225Google Scholar
  7. Diamond PA (1982a) Aggregate demand management in search equilibrium. J Polit Econ 90(3):881–894CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Diamond PA (1982b) Wage determination and efficiency in search equilibrium. Rev Econ Stat 49(2):217–227CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Gordon I, Vickerman R (1982) Opportunity, preference and constraint: an approach to the analysis of metropolitan migration. Urban Stud 19(3):247–261CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Gronau R (1971) Information and frictional unemployment. Am Econ Rev 61(3):290–301Google Scholar
  11. High J (1983) Knowledge, maximizing, and conjecture: a critical analysis of search theory. J Post Keynesian Econ 6(2):252–264Google Scholar
  12. Jackman R, Savouri S (1992) Regional migration in Britain: an analysis of gross flows using nhs central register data. Econ J 102(415):1433–1450CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. McCall JJ (1970) Economics of information and job search. Q J Econ 84(1):113–126CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. McCall BP, McCall JJ (1987) A sequential study of migration and job search. J Labor Econ 5(4):452–476CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Molho I (1986) Theories of migration: a review. Scott J Polit Econ 33(4):396–419CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Mortensen D (1970) Job search, the duration of unemployment, and the Phillips curve. Am Econ Rev 60(5):847–862Google Scholar
  17. Mortensen D (1986) Job search and labor market analysis. In: Ashenfelter O, Layard R (eds) Handbook of labor economics. North Holland, Amsterdam, pp 849–920Google Scholar
  18. Nash J (1953) Two-person cooperative games. Econometric Society, Econometrica 21(1):128–140CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Osborne MJ, Rubinstein A (1994) A course in game theory. MIT Press, Cambridge, MAGoogle Scholar
  20. Petrongolo B, Pissarides C (2001) Looking into the black box: a survey of the matching function. J Econ Lit 39(2):390–431CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Pissarides C (1979) Job matchings with state employment agencies and random search. Econ J 89(356):818–833CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Pissarides C (1984) Search intensity, job advertising and efficiency. J Labor Econ 2(1):128–143CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Pissarides C (2000) Equilibrium unemployment theory, 2nd edn. MIT Press, Cambridge, MAGoogle Scholar
  24. Rogerson P (1982) Spatial models of Search. Geogr Anal 14(3):217–228CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Rothschild M (1974) Searching for the lowest price when the distribution of prices is unknown. J Polit Econ 82(4):689–711CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Sjaastad L (1962) The costs and returns of human migration. J Polit Econ 70(5):80–93CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Stigler GJ (1961) The economics of information. J Polit Econ 69(3):213–225CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Stigler GJ (1962) Information in the labor market. J Polit Econ 70(5):94–105CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Wilde LL (1979) An information-theoretic approach to job quits. In: Lippman SA, McCall JJ (eds) Studies in the economics of search. North-Holland, Amsterdam, pp 35–52Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.AED EconomicsOhio State UniversityColumbusUSA

Personalised recommendations