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Understanding Sectoral Labor Market Dynamics: An Equilibrium Analysis of the Oil and Gas Field Services Industry

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Abstract

This paper examines the response of employment and wages in the US oil and gas field services industry to changes in the price of crude petroleum using a time series of quarterly data spanning the period 1972-2002. I find that labor quickly reallocates across sectors in response to price shocks but that substantial wage premia are necessary to induce such reallocation. The timing of these premia is at odds with the predictions of standard models-wage premia emerge quite slowly, peaking only as labor adjustment ends and then slowly dissipating. After considering alternative explanations, I argue that a dynamic market clearing model with sluggish movements in industry wide labor demand is capable of rationalizing these findings. I proceed to structurally estimate the parameters of the model by minimum distance and find that simulated impulse responses match key features of the estimated dynamics. I also provide auxiliary evidence corroborating the implied dynamics of some important unobserved variables. I conclude with a discussion of the strengths and weaknesses of the model and implications for future research.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University in its series Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers with number 1645.

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Length: 44 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cwl:cwldpp:1645

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Keywords: Labor market dynamics; Labor market equilibrium;

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Cited by:
  1. Sriniketh Nagavarapu, 2008. "Brazilian Ethanol: A Gift or Threat to the Environment and Regional Development?," Discussion Papers 07-039, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
  2. Dora Gicheva & Justine Hastings & Sofia Villas-Boas, 2010. "Investigating Income Effects in Scanner Data: Do Gasoline Prices Affect Grocery Purchases?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(2), pages 480-84, May.
  3. Rima Izem & Nicola Fuchs-Schuendeln, 2007. "Explaining the Low Labor Productivity in East Germany - A Spatial Analysis," 2007 Meeting Papers 378, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  4. Daron Acemoglu & Amy Finkelstein & Matthew J. Notowidigdo, 2013. "Income and Health Spending: Evidence from Oil Price Shocks," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 95(4), pages 1079-1095, October.
  5. Christopher J. Nekarda & Valerie A. Ramey, 2010. "Industry Evidence on the Effects of Government Spending," NBER Working Papers 15754, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Andersen, Jørgen Juel & Aslaksen, Silje, 2013. "Oil and political survival," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 100(1), pages 89-106.
  7. Maximiliano Dvorkin, 2013. "Sectoral Shocks, Reallocation and Unemployment in a Model of Competitive Labor Markets," 2013 Meeting Papers 1229, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  8. Martina Kirchberger, 2014. "Natural disasters and labour markets," CSAE Working Paper Series 2014-19, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.

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