Working Paper 721

Measuring Job-Finding Rates and Matching Efficiency with Heterogeneous Jobseekers

Robert E. Hall
Sam Schulhofer-Wohl

Published February 6, 2015

Matching efficiency is the productivity of the process for matching jobseekers to available jobs. Job-finding is the output; vacant jobs and active jobseekers are the inputs. Measurement of matching efficiency follows the same principles as measuring a Hicks-neutral index of productivity of production. We develop a framework for measuring matching productivity when the population of jobseekers is heterogeneous. The efficiency index for each type of jobseeker is the monthly job-finding rate for the type adjusted for the overall tightness of the labor market. We find that overall matching efficiency declined over the period, at just below its earlier downward trend. We develop a new approach to measuring matching rates that avoids counting short-duration jobs as successes. And we show that the outward shift in the Beveridge curve in the post-crisis period is the result of pre-crisis trends, not a downward shift in matching efficiency attributable to the crisis.

Download Paper (pdf)