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Organizational Flexibility and Employment Dynamics at Young and Old Plants

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  • Jeffrey R. Campbell
  • Jonas D.M. Fisher

Abstract

There are significant differences in the dynamics of employment over the business cycle between young and old manufacturing plants. Young plants are more sensitive to aggregate disturbances, and they respond to them along different margins. We interpret these differences as reflecting greater organizational flexibility at young plants due to the changing nature of a plant's environment as it ages. In the presence of aggregate uncertainty, differences between young and old plants' organizational flexibility allows the model to reproduce their distinct cyclical characteristics. Previous empirical studies show that small firms generally respond by more to aggregate shocks than do large firms. To the extent that small firms tend to operate young plants, our analysis suggests an alternative to conventional explanations of this evidence which appeal to imperfections in credit markets.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 6809.

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Date of creation: Nov 1998
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:6809

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  1. Jeffrey R. Campbell & Jonas D.M. Fisher, 1996. "Aggregate employment fluctuations with microeconomic asymmetries," Discussion Paper / Institute for Empirical Macroeconomics 112, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  2. Simon Gilchrist & John C. Williams, 1998. "Putty-clay and investment: a business cycle analysis," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 1998-30, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  3. Bahk, Byong-Hong & Gort, Michael, 1993. "Decomposing Learning by Doing in New Plants," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(4), pages 561-83, August.
  4. Gertler, Mark & Gilchrist, Simon, 1994. "Monetary Policy, Business Cycles, and the Behavior of Small Manufacturing Firms," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 109(2), pages 309-40, May.
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  7. Campbell, J.R. & Kuttner, K.N., 1996. "Macroeconomic Effects of Employment Reallocation," RCER Working Papers 415, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  8. Susan Athey & Armin Schmutzler, 1995. "Product and Process Flexibility in an Innovative Environment," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 26(4), pages 557-574, Winter.
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  21. Daniel S. Hamermesh & Gerard A. Pfann, 1996. "Adjustment Costs in Factor Demand," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 34(3), pages 1264-1292, September.
  22. Jeffrey Campbell, 1998. "Entry, Exit, Embodied Technology, and Business Cycles," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 1(2), pages 371-408, April.
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  25. Christopher L. Foote, 1998. "Trend Employment Growth And The Bunching Of Job Creation And Destruction," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 113(3), pages 809-834, August.
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Cited by:
  1. Kilponen, Juha & Vanhala, Juuso, 2009. "Productivity and job flows: heterogeneity of new hires and continuing jobs in the business cycle," Working Paper Series 1080, European Central Bank.
  2. Guiso, L. & Schivardi, F., 2000. "Information Spillovers and Factor Adjustment," Papers 368, Banca Italia - Servizio di Studi.
  3. Jeffrey R. Campbell & Jonas D.M. Fisher, 2000. "Idiosyncratic risk and aggregate employment dynamics," Working Paper Series WP-00-15, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  4. WenLi Li & Pierre-Daniel Sarte, 2000. "Investigating fluctuations in U.S. manufacturing : what are the direct effects of informational frictions?," Working Paper 00-01, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
  5. Maliranta, Mika, 2002. "From R&D to Productivity Through Micro-Level Restructuring," Discussion Papers 795, The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy.
  6. Li, Wenli & Sarte, Pierre-Daniel G., 2003. "Credit market frictions and their direct effects on U.S. manufacturing fluctuations," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 419-443, December.

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