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Manufacturing Employment Cycle

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  • Sebastián Claro

    ()
    (Instituto de Economía. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile.)

Abstract

The paper demonstrates that two relatively unknown features of the employment cycle in U.S. manufacturing industries can provide a clue to understanding the role of sectorial shocks in the evolution of aggregate employment. First, interindustry wage differentials rise in expansions and fall in contractions. Second, periods of increasing aggregate employment are associated with relatively good price and productivity shocks to capital-intensive sectors. The paper presents a simple general-equilibrium model where bargaining at the industry level and rents due to sector-specific capital generate a wage structure with higher wages in capital-intensive sectors but where the response of wages to sector-specific shocks is greater in labor intensive sectors. Empirical evidence is presented to support such implications of the model. The asymmetry of wage adjustments imply that aggregate employment responds more to shocks in capital-intensive industries and that procyclical wage differentials can only result from asymmetric disturbances.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Instituto de Economia. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile. in its series Documentos de Trabajo with number 212.

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Date of creation: 2002
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Handle: RePEc:ioe:doctra:212

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Related research

Keywords: Cyclical unemployment; interindustry wage differentials; sector-specific wages;

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  1. Abraham, Katharine G. & Katz, Lawrence F., 1986. "Cyclical Unemployment: Sectoral Shifts or Aggregate Disturbances?," Scholarly Articles 3442781, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  2. Keane, Michael & Moffitt, Robert & Runkle, David, 1988. "Real Wages over the Business Cycle: Estimating the Impact of Heterogeneity with Micro Data," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(6), pages 1232-66, December.
  3. Katharine G. Abraham & John C. Haltiwanger, 1995. "Real Wages and the Business Cycle," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 33(3), pages 1215-1264, September.
  4. 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, December.
  5. Ricardo J. Caballero & Eduardo M.R.A. Engel & John Haltiwanger, 1995. "Aggregate Employment Dynamics: Building From Microeconomic Evidence," NBER Working Papers 5042, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Steven J. Davis & John Haltiwanger, 1996. "On the Driving Forces Behind Cyclical Movement, in Employment and Job Reallocation," NBER Working Papers 5775, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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