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Organizational flexibility and employment dynamics at young and old plants

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  • Jeffrey R. Campbell
  • Jonas D.M. Fisher

Abstract

There are significant differences in the dynamics of employment over the business cycle between young and old manufacturing plants. Young plants are more sensitive to aggregate disturbances, and they respond to them along different margins. We interpret these differences as reflecting greater organizational flexibility at young plants due to the changing nature of a plant's environment as it ages. In the presence of aggregate uncertainty, differences between young and old plants' organizational flexibility allows the model to reproduce their distinct cyclical characteristics. Previous empirical studies show that small firms generally respond by more to aggregate shocks than do large firms. To the extent that small firms tend to operate young plants, our analysis suggests an alternative to conventional explanations of this evidence which appeal to imperfections in credit markets.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago in its series Working Paper Series with number WP-98-24.

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Date of creation: 1998
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedhwp:wp-98-24

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Keywords: Employment (Economic theory) ; Industries ; Business cycles;

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References

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  1. Simon Gilchrist & John C. Williams, 1998. "Putty-Clay and Investment: A Business Cycle Analysis," NBER Working Papers 6812, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Campbell, J.R. & Fisher, J.D.M., 1996. "Aggreagate Employment Fluctuations with Microeconomic Asymmetries," RCER Working Papers 430, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  3. Fisher, Jonas D M, 1999. "Credit Market Imperfections and the Heterogeneous Response of Firms to Monetary Shocks," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 31(2), pages 187-211, May.
  4. He, Hua. & Pindyck, Robert S., 1989. "Investments in flexible production capacity," Working papers 2102-89., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
  5. Mark Gertler & Simon Gilchrist, 1991. "Monetary Policy, Business Cycles and the Behavior of Small Manufacturing Firms," NBER Working Papers 3892, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Jeffrey R. Campbell, 1997. "Computational Appendix to Entry, Exit, Embodied Technology, and Business Cycles," Technical Appendices campbell98, Review of Economic Dynamics.
  7. Bentolila, Samuel & Bertola, Giuseppe, 1990. "Firing Costs and Labour Demand: How Bad Is Eurosclerosis?," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 57(3), pages 381-402, July.
  8. Campbell, J.R. & Kuttner, K.N., 1996. "Macroeconomic Effects of Employment Reallocation," RCER Working Papers 415, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  9. Giuseppe Bertola & Richard Rogerson, 1996. "Institutions and Labor Reallocation," NBER Working Papers 5828, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  13. Bernanke, Ben & Gertler, Mark & Gilchrist, Simon, 1996. "The Financial Accelerator and the Flight to Quality," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 78(1), pages 1-15, February.
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  23. Jeffrey R. Campbell, 1997. "Entry, Exit, Embodied Technology, and Business Cycles," NBER Working Papers 5955, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  24. Mortensen, Dale T & Pissarides, Christopher A, 1994. "Job Creation and Job Destruction in the Theory of Unemployment," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 61(3), pages 397-415, July.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Jeffrey R. Campbell & Jonas D.M.Fisher, 2000. "Idiosyncratic Risk and Aggregate Employment Dynamics," NBER Working Papers 7936, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Guiso, Luigi & Schivardi, Fabiano, 1999. "Information Spillover and Factor Adjustment," CEPR Discussion Papers 2289, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Kilponen, Juha & Vanhala, Juuso, 2009. "Productivity and job flows: heterogeneity of new hires and continuing jobs in the business cycle," Working Paper Series 1080, European Central Bank.
  4. Li, Wenli & Sarte, Pierre-Daniel G., 2003. "Credit market frictions and their direct effects on U.S. manufacturing fluctuations," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 419-443, December.
  5. WenLi Li & Pierre-Daniel Sarte, 2000. "Investigating fluctuations in U.S. manufacturing : what are the direct effects of informational frictions?," Working Paper 00-01, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
  6. Maliranta, Mika, 2002. "From R&D to Productivity Through Micro-Level Restructuring," Discussion Papers 795, The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy.

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