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On the Ills of Adjustment

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  • Ricardo J. Caballero
  • Mohamad L. Hammour

Abstract

We analyze market impediments to the process of structural adjustment. We focus on incomplete-contract inefficiencies in the transactions between workers and firms that render the quasi-rents from 'specific' investment appropriable. During adjustment, the result is a depressed rate of creation of the new productive structure and excessive destruction of the old one, leading to an employment crisis. Moreover, appropriability weakens the incentives for extensive restructuring and results in a 'sclerotic' productive structure. An adequate managed- adjustment program combines vigorous creation incentives in the expanding sector with measures to support employment in the contracting one. In contrast, the common prescription of gradualism does not act as an effective 'synchronizer' of creation and destruction, for it can only reduce destruction by also reducing an already depressed creation rate.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 5198.

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Date of creation: Jul 1995
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Publication status: published as Journal of Development Economics, vol. 51, no. 1, October 1996 pp. 161
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:5198

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  1. Williamson, Oliver E, 1979. "Transaction-Cost Economics: The Governance of Contractural Relations," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 22(2), pages 233-61, October.
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  4. Edwards, Sebastian, 1988. "Terms of Trade, Tariffs, and Labor Market Adjustment in Developing Countries," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 2(2), pages 165-85, May.
  5. Ricardo J. Caballero & Mohamad L. Hammour, 1994. "On the Timing and Efficiency of Creative Destruction," NBER Working Papers 4768, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Ricardo J. Caballero & Mohamad L. Hammour, 1998. "The Macroeconomics of Specificity," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(4), pages 724-767, August.
  2. Ricardo J. Caballero & Mohamad L. Hammour, 1996. "The "Fundamental Transformation" in Macroeconomics," NBER Working Papers 5471, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Maxim Bouev, 2004. "Diverging Paths: Transition in the Presence of the Informal Sector," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 2004-689, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
  4. Jaan Masso & Raul Eamets & Kaia Philips, 2004. "Where Have All The Jobs Gone? Gross Job Flows In Estonia," University of Tartu - Faculty of Economics and Business Administration Working Paper Series 28, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, University of Tartu (Estonia).
  5. Valerie A. Ramey & Matthew D. Shapiro, 1998. "Displaced Capital," NBER Working Papers 6775, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Jurajda, Stepán & Terrell, Katherine, 2008. "Job Reallocation in Two Cases of Massive Adjustment in Eastern Europe," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 36(11), pages 2144-2169, November.
  7. Ricardo J. Caballero & Mohamad L. Hammour, 2001. "Creative Destruction and Development : Institutions, Crises and Restructuring," DELTA Working Papers 2001-04, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
  8. Maliranta, Mika, 2002. "From R&D to Productivity Through Micro-Level Restructuring," Discussion Papers 795, The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy.
  9. Gourinchas, Pierre-Olivier, 1999. "Exchange rates do matter: French job reallocation and exchange rate turbulence, 1984-1992," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 43(7), pages 1279-1316, June.
  10. Nauro F. Campos & Abrizio Coricelli, 2002. "Growth in Transition: What We Know, What We Don't, and What We Should," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 40(3), pages 793-836, September.
  11. Jasper Hoek, 2002. "Labor Market Institutions and Restructuring: Evidence from Regulated and Unregulated Labor Markets in Brazil," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 484, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
  12. Masso, Jaan & Eamets, Raul & Philips, Kaia, 2005. "Job Creation and Job Destruction in Estonia: Labour Reallocation and Structural Changes," IZA Discussion Papers 1707, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  13. Scholz, Christian M., 1997. "Environmental tax reform with irreversible investment, technological progress and unemployment," Kiel Working Papers 798, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
  14. Cabalero, R.J., 1997. "Aggregaete Investment," Working papers 97-20, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  15. Richard Mash, 1999. "The Investment Response to Imperfectly Credible Trade Liberalisation with Endogenous Probability of Reversal," Economics Series Working Papers WPS/1998-13, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.

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