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Aggregate Employment Fluctuations with Microeconomic Asymmetries

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

We provide a simple explanation for the observation from the U.S. manufacturing sector that the job destruction rate fluctuates more than the job creation rate. In our model, proportional plant-level costs of creating and destroying jobs cause shrinking plants to be more sensitive to aggregate shocks than growing plants. We describe circumstances in which this microeconomic asymmetry is preserved in the aggregate and show that it can account for much of the observed asymmetries in gross job flows. This is so even though we abstract from job matching frictions, incomplete contracts, and aggregate congestion effects.

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Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 90 (2000)
Issue (Month): 5 (December)
Pages: 1323-1345

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:90:y:2000:i:5:p:1323-1345
Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.90.5.1323
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  1. Jeffrey R. Campbell & Jonas D.M. Fisher, 1998. "Aggregate employment fluctuations with microeconomic asymmetries," Working Paper Series, Macroeconomic Issues WP-96-17, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
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  12. Jeffrey R. Campbell, 1997. "Entry, Exit, Embodied Technology, and Business Cycles," NBER Working Papers 5955, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Campbell, J.R., 1995. "Entry, Exit, Technology, and Business Cycles," RCER Working Papers 407, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  14. Caballero, Ricardo J & Hammour, Mohamad L, 1996. "On the Timing and Efficiency of Creative Destruction," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 111(3), pages 805-52, August.
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  18. Ricardo J. Caballero & Eduardo Engel & John Haltiwanger, 1996. "Aggregate Employment Dynamics: Building from Microeconomic Evidence," Documentos de Trabajo 6, Centro de Economía Aplicada, Universidad de Chile.
  19. Aizcorbe, Ana M, 1992. "Procyclical Labour Productivity, Increasing Returns to Labour and Labour Hoarding in Car Assembly Plant Employment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 102(413), pages 860-73, July.
  20. Steven J. Davis & John Haltiwanger, 1990. "Gross Job Creation and Destruction: Microeconomic Evidence and Macroeconomic Implications," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1990, Volume 5, pages 123-186 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  21. 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.
  22. Hopenhayn, Hugo A, 1992. "Entry, Exit, and Firm Dynamics in Long Run Equilibrium," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(5), pages 1127-50, September.
  23. Benveniste, L M & Scheinkman, J A, 1979. "On the Differentiability of the Value Function in Dynamic Models of Economics," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(3), pages 727-32, May.
  24. Robert E. Lucas Jr., 1978. "On the Size Distribution of Business Firms," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 9(2), pages 508-523, Autumn.
  25. Andolfatto, David, 1996. "Business Cycles and Labor-Market Search," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(1), pages 112-32, March.
  26. Victor Aguirregabiria & Cesar Alonso-Borrego, 2009. "Labor contracts and flexibility : evidence from a labor market reform in Spain," Economics Working Papers we091811, Universidad Carlos III, Departamento de Economía.
  27. Dale T. Mortensen & Christopher A. Pissarides, 1993. "Job Creation and Job Destruction in the Theory of Unemployment," CEP Discussion Papers dp0110, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  28. Hopenhayn, Hugo & Rogerson, Richard, 1993. "Job Turnover and Policy Evaluation: A General Equilibrium Analysis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(5), pages 915-38, October.
  29. Giuseppe Bertola & Ricardo J. Caballero, 1990. "Kinked Adjustment Costs and Aggregate Dynamics," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1990, Volume 5, pages 237-296 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  30. Jeffrey R. Campbell, 1997. "Computational Appendix to Entry, Exit, Embodied Technology, and Business Cycles," Technical Appendices campbell98, Review of Economic Dynamics.
  31. Mortensen, Dale T., 1994. "The cyclical behavior of job and worker flows," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 18(6), pages 1121-1142, November.
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