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Spatial and Temporal Aggregation in the Dynamics of Labor Demand

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  • Daniel S. Hamermesh

Abstract

The paper demonstrates the general difficulty of inferring the structure of adjustment costs from aggregated, including industry data, except in the unlikely case that costs are symmetric and quadratic at the micro level. The implications of this difficulty for cross-national comparisons of adjustment costs, and for attempts to infer the structure of these costs without micro data, are examined. In the voluminous literature on dynamic labor demand studies based on annual data generally find longer lags than those that use quarterly data, which in turn produce longer lags than models estimated using monthly data. However, when a consistent set of U.S. industry time series is used, and quadratic symmetric costs are assumed, the estimated length of the lag is independent of the frequency of observation. This conclusion is clearly not general: If we assume the costs of adjusting labor demand are lumpy, inferences about their structure differ greatly depending on how often the data are observed.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 4055.

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Date of creation: Apr 1992
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Publication status: published as Labor Demand and Equilibrium Wage Formation North-Holland Press, 1993
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:4055

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  1. Katharine G. Abraham & Susan N. Houseman, 1992. "Job Security and Work Force Adjustment: How Different are U.S. and Japanese Practices?," Book chapters authored by Upjohn Institute researchers, in: Giorgio Galeazzi & Daniel Hamermesh (ed.), Dynamic Labor Demand and Adjustment Costs, pages 280-301 W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
  2. Tinsley, P A, 1971. "A Variable Adjustment Model of Labor Demand," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 12(3), pages 482-510, October.
  3. Pindyck, Robert S & Rotemberg, Julio J, 1983. "Dynamic Factor Demands and the Effects of Energy Price Shocks," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(5), pages 1066-79, December.
  4. Dunne, T. & Roberts, M.J. & Samuelson, L., 1988. "The Growth And Failure Of U.S. Manufacturing Plants," Papers 1-87-5, Pennsylvania State - Department of Economics.
  5. Holtz-Eakin, D. & Rosen, H.S., 1989. "Municipal Labor Demand In The Presence Of Uncertainty: An Econometric Approach," Discussion Papers 1989_17, Columbia University, Department of Economics.
  6. Daniel S. Hamermesh, 1988. "Labor Demand and the Structure of Adjustment Costs," NBER Working Papers 2572, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Robert F. Engle & Ta-Chung Liu, 1972. "Effects Of Aggregation Over Time On Dynamic Characteristics Of An Econometric Model," NBER Chapters, in: Econometric Models of Cyclical Behavior, Vols. 1 and 2, pages 673-738 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Nadiri, M Ishaq & Rosen, Sherwin, 1969. "Interrelated Factor Demand Functions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 59(4), pages 457-71, Part I Se.
  9. Burgess, Simon M & Dolado, Juan J, 1989. "Intertemporal Rules with Variable Speed of Adjustment: An Application to U.K. Manufacturing Employment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 99(396), pages 347-65, June.
  10. Stoker, Thomas M, 1986. "Simple Tests of Distributional Effects on Macroeconomic Equations," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(4), pages 763-95, August.
  11. Shapiro, Matthew D, 1986. "The Dynamic Demand for Capital and Labor," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 101(3), pages 513-42, August.
  12. Jonathan S. Leonard, 1986. "In the Wrong Place at the Wrong Time: The Extent of Frictional and Structural Unemployment," NBER Working Papers 1979, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Geweke, John, 1985. "Macroeconometric Modeling and the Theory of the Representative Agent," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(2), pages 206-10, May.
  14. Thomas J. Sargent, 1978. "Estimation of dynamic labor demand schedules under rational expectations," Staff Report 27, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  15. Muellbauer, John N J, 1981. "Linear Aggregation in Neoclassical Labour Supply," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 48(1), pages 21-36, January.
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Cited by:
  1. Varejão, José & Portugal, Pedro, 2007. "Spatial and Temporal Aggregation in the Estimation of Labor Demand Functions," IZA Discussion Papers 2701, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Varejão, José & Portugal, Pedro, 2006. "Employment Dynamics and the Structure of Labor Adjustment Costs," IZA Discussion Papers 1922, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Lucia Foster, 1999. "Employment Adjustment Costs and Establishment Characteristics," Working Papers 99-15, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.

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