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An Empirical Model of Factor Adjustment Dynamics: Working Paper 2006-13

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  • Juan M. Contreras

Abstract

This paper investigates how firms dynamically adjust their use of capital, labor, energy, and materials when there are both smooth and lumpy adjustment possibilities and interrelation among adjustments. The Colombian Annual Census of Manufacturing provides evidence of these kinds of adjustment. The innovation of this paper lies in three areas: in considering the joint adjustment and interrelation of labor and capital at the establishment level; in describing the dynamic adjustment of all the production factors; and in a rich description of adjustment costs, which includes disruption of the production process and reallocation of internal resources, and fixed costs of installing capital and creating or discontinuing a job vacancy. The model also includes both a convex cost component, aimed at capturing smooth adjustments, and congestion effects, which means that it is more costly for firms to adjust capital and labor at the same time than it is to adjust them separately. Using a simulated method of moments, the study finds empirical support for the existence of disruption costs for capital and labor, the existence of convex costs for capital but not for labor, and the existence of congestion effects. An important implication of the model is that, in response to shocks, firms decide to adjust either capital or labor alone or both, depending on the initial capital to labor ratio and the magnitude of the shocks.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Congressional Budget Office in its series Working Papers with number 18250.

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Date of creation: 20 Nov 2006
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Handle: RePEc:cbo:wpaper:18250

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  1. Caballero, R.J., 1994. "Explaining Investment Dynamics in U.S. Manufacturing: Generalized (S,s) Approach," Working papers 94-32, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  2. Klette, Tor Jakob & Griliches, Zvi, 1996. "The Inconsistency of Common Scale Estimators When Output Prices Are Unobserved and Endogenous," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 11(4), pages 343-61, July-Aug..
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  10. Eslava, Marcela & Haltiwanger Jr, John C & Kugler, Adriana D. & Kugler, Maurice, 2004. "The Effects of Structural Reforms on Productivity- and Profitability-Enhancing Reallocation: Evidence from Colombia," CEPR Discussion Papers 4569, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  15. Daniel S. Hamermesh & Gerard A. Pfann, 1996. "Adjustment Costs in Factor Demand," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 34(3), pages 1264-1292, September.
  16. Caballero, Ricardo J & Engel, Eduardo M R A & Haltiwanger, John, 1997. "Aggregate Employment Dynamics: Building from Microeconomic Evidence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(1), pages 115-37, March.
  17. Robert E. Hall, 2004. "Measuring Factor Adjustment Costs," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 119(3), pages 899-927, August.
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  19. Rust, John, 1987. "Optimal Replacement of GMC Bus Engines: An Empirical Model of Harold Zurcher," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(5), pages 999-1033, September.
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