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Job Turnover in Irish Manufacturing 1972–2006

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  • Martina Lawless

    (Central Bank and Financial Services Authority of Ireland)

  • Alan P. Murphy

    (Central Bank and Financial Services Authority of Ireland)

Abstract

With the recent slowdown in global economic growth, there has been considerable focus in Ireland on some high-profile job losses, particularly in the manufacturing sector. This paper places such developments into a broader context and shows that aggregate changes in the net number of jobs arise from large numbers of firms both increasing and decreasing employment simultaneously at all points in time. Even at the height of the Celtic Tiger boom when employment grew by 8 per cent, this was the result of 15 per cent growth in jobs by expanding firms offset by 7 per cent of positions being eliminated in contracting firms. One important feature of job flows is that they may contribute to productivity growth by allowing movements from low to high productivity firms. To a degree, this reflects the re-allocation of jobs from declining sectors to expanding sectors, but this is not a comprehensive explanation. A significant factor underlying job flows is the reallocation within sectors from under-performing firms to expanding firms. This study also shows that productivity growth is, on balance, positive for employment growth. On the other hand, these calculations also show how hard it is for policymakers to identify firms that will be employment and productivity growth winners.

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File URL: http://www.esr.ie/Vol39_3/Vol-39-04-Lawless.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Economic and Social Studies in its journal Economic and Social Review.

Volume (Year): 39 (2008)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
Pages: 235-256

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Handle: RePEc:eso:journl:v:39:y:2008:i:3:p:235-256

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  1. Steven J. Davis & John C. Haltiwanger & Scott Schuh, 1998. "Job Creation and Destruction," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262540932, December.
  2. Merz, Monika, 1999. "Heterogeneous job-matches and the cyclical behavior of labor turnover," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 91-124, February.
  3. Ricardo J. Caballero & Mohamad L. Hammour, 1991. "The Cleansing Effect of Recessions," NBER Working Papers 3922, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Burda, Michael & Wyplosz, Charles, 1994. "Gross worker and job flows in Europe," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 38(6), pages 1287-1315, June.
  5. Konings, Jozef, 1995. "Job Creation and Job Destruction in the UK Manufacturing Sector," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 57(1), pages 5-24, February.
  6. Faggio, Giulia & Konings, Jozef, 1999. "Gross Job Flows and Firm Growth in Transition Countries: Evidence Using Firm Level Data on Five Countries," CEPR Discussion Papers 2261, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Steve J. Davis & John Haltiwanger, 1991. "Gross Job Creation, Gross Job Destruction and Employment Reallocation," NBER Working Papers 3728, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Gomez-Salvador, Ramon & Messina, Julian & Vallanti, Giovanna, 2004. "Gross job flows and institutions in Europe," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(4), pages 469-485, August.
  9. Solon, Gary & Barsky, Robert & Parker, Jonathan A, 1994. "Measuring the Cyclicality of Real Wages: How Important Is Composition Bias?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 109(1), pages 1-25, February.
  10. Martin N. Baily & Eric J. Bartelsman & John Haltiwanger, 1994. "Downsizing and productivity growth: myth or reality?," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 94-7, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  11. Wouter J. den Haan & Garey Ramey & Joel Watson, 1997. "Job Destruction and Propagation of Shocks," NBER Working Papers 6275, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Davis, Steven J. & Haltiwanger, John, 1999. "Gross job flows," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 41, pages 2711-2805 Elsevier.
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