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Employment Dynamics and the Structure of Labor Adjustment Costs

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  • Varejão, José

    ()
    (University of Porto)

  • Portugal, Pedro

    ()
    (Banco de Portugal)

Abstract

In this paper we document the patterns of employment adjustment at the micro-level. We find clear evidence of lumpy adjustment consistent with the presence of non-convexities in the adjustment technology - inaction is pervasive, action spells are short-lived, extreme adjustment episodes occur and are responsible for a non-trivial share of employment adjustment. We also find that the probability of employment adjustment increases with the duration of inaction (positive duration dependence). The skill structure of the workforce, the type of employment contract and the proportion of low tenure workers, which we interpret as proxies for the magnitude of adjustment costs, all influence the probability of adjustment.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 1922.

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Length: 35 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2006
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Journal of Labor Economics, 2007, 25 (1), 137-165
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp1922

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Keywords: adjustment costs; job flows; worker flows; duration models;

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References

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  1. Abowd, John M & Corbel, Patrick & Kramarz, Francis, 1997. "The Entry and Exit of Workers and the Growth of Employment: An Analysis of French Establishments," CEPR Discussion Papers 1765, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Sheshinski, Eytan & Weiss, Yoram, 1977. "Inflation and Costs of Price Adjustment," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 44(2), pages 287-303, June.
  3. Russell Cooper & John Haltiwanger & Laura Power, 1995. "Machine Replacement and the Business Cycle: Lumps and Bumps," Papers 0062, Boston University - Industry Studies Programme.
  4. Caballero, Ricardo J & Engel, Eduardo M R A & Haltiwanger, John, 1997. "Aggregate Employment Dynamics: Building from Microeconomic Evidence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(1), pages 115-37, March.
  5. Anderson, Patricia M, 1993. "Linear Adjustment Costs and Seasonal Labor Demand: Evidence from Retail Trade Firms," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 108(4), pages 1015-42, November.
  6. Mark Doms & Timothy Dunne, 1994. "Capital Adjustment Patterns in Manufacturing Plants," Working Papers 94-11, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  7. Daniel S. Hamermesh, 1988. "Labor Demand and the Structure of Adjustment Costs," NBER Working Papers 2572, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Blundell, Richard & Griffith, Rachel & Van Reenen, John, 1995. "Dynamic Count Data Models of Technological Innovation," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 105(429), pages 333-44, March.
  9. Christopher L. Foote, 1998. "Trend Employment Growth and the Bunching of Job Creation and Destruction," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1818, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  10. Pedro Portugal & Olivier Blanchard, 2001. "What Hides Behind an Unemployment Rate: Comparing Portuguese and U.S. Labor Markets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(1), pages 187-207, March.
  11. Oivind Anti Nilsen & Fabio Schiantarelli, 1996. "Zeroes and Lumps in Investment: Empirical Evidence on Irreversibilities and Non-Convexities," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 337., Boston College Department of Economics, revised 01 Nov 2000.
  12. R. Gaston Gelos & Alberto Isgut, 2001. "Fixed Capital Adjustment: Is Latin America Different?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 83(4), pages 717-726, November.
  13. 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.
  14. Daniel S. Hamermesh, 1992. "Spatial and Temporal Aggregation in the Dynamics of Labor Demand," NBER Working Papers 4055, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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