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The authors present a model of aggregate fluctuations in which monopolistic firms face sunk costs to enter the production process and labor markets are characterized by search and matching frictions. Entrants post vacancies and are matched to idle workers. This specification of sunk costs gives rise to a countercyclical net present value of a vacancy; it is always zero in models where entry is free. The model displays a strong degree of amplification and propagation. The time-varying value of a vacancy has implications for the surplus division between firms and workers over business cycle. In the data, they proxy this division using the ratio of corporate profits to output and workers' compensation to output.
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