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Inefficient employment decisions, entry costs, and the cost of fluctuations

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  • Den Haan, Wouter
  • Sedlacek, Petr

Abstract

Fluctuations in firms' revenues reduce firms' viability and are costly from a social welfare point of view even when agents are risk neutral if (i) the decision to continue operating a firm is not efficient at the margin so that fluctuations shorten firms' life expectancy (because they increase the chance revenue levels are such that discontinuation is unavoidable) and (ii) the shortening of the life expectancy reduces entry. Welfare consequences are large, even for moderate fluctuations: Implied estimates for the per period costs of business cycles can easily be equal to several percentage points of GDP. These estimates are based on a direct measurement of cyclical changes in the value added generated by workers that recently were not employed. This extensive margin measure of the cyclical change in output is of independent interest.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 7468.

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Date of creation: Sep 2009
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:7468

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Keywords: business cycles; frictions;

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  1. Anne Epaulard & Aude Pommeret, 2003. "Recursive Utility, Endogenous Growth, and the Welfare Cost of Volatility," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 6(3), pages 672-684, July.
  2. Tom Krebs, 2005. "Job Displacement Risk and the Cost of Business Cycles," 2005 Meeting Papers 188, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  3. Per Krusell & Toshihiko Mukoyama & Aysegul Sahin & Anthony A. Smith, Jr., 2008. "Appendices for "Revisiting the Welfare Effects of Eliminating Business Cycles"," Technical Appendices 08-211, Review of Economic Dynamics.
  4. Tom Krebs, 2004. "Welfare Cost of Business Cycles When Markets Are Incomplete," Working Papers 2004-08, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  5. Jones,L.E. & Manuelli,R.E. & Stacchetti,E., 1999. "Technology (and policy) shocks in models of endogenous growth," Working papers 9, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  6. Martin, Philippe & Rogers, Carol Ann, 1995. "Long-Term Growth and Short-Term Economic Instability," CEPR Discussion Papers 1281, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Morten O. Ravn & Harald Uhlig, 2002. "On adjusting the Hodrick-Prescott filter for the frequency of observations," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 84(2), pages 371-375.
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Cited by:
  1. Florin O. Bilbiie & Fabio Ghironi & Marc J. Melitz, 2012. "Endogenous Entry, Product Variety, and Business Cycles," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 120(2), pages 304 - 345.

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