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Quits, worker recruitment, and firm growth: theory and evidence

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  • R. Jason Faberman
  • Eva Nagypal

Abstract

The authors use establishment data from the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) to study the micro-level behavior of worker quits and their relation to recruitment and establishment growth. They find that quits decline with establishment growth, playing the most important role at slowly contracting firms. They also find a robust, positive relationship between an establishment's reported hires and vacancies and the incidence of a quit. This relationship occurs despite the finding that quits decline, and hires and vacancies increase, with establishment growth. The authors characterize these dynamics within a labor-market search model with on-the-job search, a convex cost of creating new positions, and multi-worker establishments. The model distinguishes between recruiting to replace a quitting worker and recruiting for a new position, and relates this distinction to firm performance. Beyond giving rise to a varying quit propensity, the model generates endogenously determined thresholds for firm contraction (through both layoffs and attrition), worker replacement, and firm expansion. The continuum of decision rules derived from these thresholds produces rich firm-level dynamics and quit behavior that are broadly consistent with the empirical evidence of the JOLTS data.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia in its series Working Papers with number 08-13.

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Date of creation: 2008
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedpwp:08-13

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Related research

Keywords: Employment (Economic theory);

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References

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  1. Mortensen, Dale T., 1994. "The cyclical behavior of job and worker flows," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 18(6), pages 1121-1142, November.
  2. Russell Cooper & John Haltiwanger & Jonathan L. Willis, 2006. "Hours and employment implications of search frictions: matching aggregate and establishment-level observations," Research Working Paper RWP 06-14, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
  3. Fujita, Shigeru & Ramey, Garey, 2007. "Job matching and propagation," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 31(11), pages 3671-3698, November.
  4. Giuseppe Bertola & Pietro Garibaldi, 2001. "Wages and the Size of Firms in Dynamic Matching Models," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 4(2), pages 335-368, April.
  5. Bertola, Giuseppe & Caballero, Ricardo J, 1994. "Cross-Sectional Efficiency and Labour Hoarding in a Matching Model of Unemployment," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 61(3), pages 435-56, July.
  6. Shimer, Robert, 2006. "On-the-job search and strategic bargaining," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 50(4), pages 811-830, May.
  7. 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.
  8. Christopher A. Pissarides, 1992. "Search Unemployment with on-the-job Search," CEP Discussion Papers dp0074, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  9. 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.
  10. George A. Akerlof & Andrew K. Rose & Janet L. Yellen, 1988. "Job Switching and Job Satisfaction in the U.S. Labor Market," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 19(2), pages 495-594.
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Cited by:
  1. Steven J. Davis & Jason Faberman & John C. Haltiwanger, 2011. "Labor Market Flows in the Cross Section and Over Time," NBER Working Papers 17294, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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