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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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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/aer.90.5.1323
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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. Ricardo J. Caballero, 1991. "A Fallacy of Composition," NBER Working Papers 3735, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Jeffrey R. Campbell, 1997. "Entry, Exit, Embodied Technology, and Business Cycles," NBER Working Papers 5955, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. 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.
  4. Mortensen, Dale T & Pissarides, Christopher A, 1994. "Job Creation and Job Destruction in the Theory of Unemployment," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 61(3), pages 397-415, July.
  5. Bertola, Giuseppe & Rogerson, Richard, 1997. "Institutions and labor reallocation," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 41(6), pages 1147-1171, June.
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  7. Sargent, Thomas J, 1978. "Estimation of Dynamic Labor Demand Schedules under Rational Expectations," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(6), pages 1009-44, December.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
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  11. Ricardo J. Caballero & Eduardo M.R.A. Engel & John Haltiwanger, 1995. "Aggregate Employment Dynamics: Building From Microeconomic Evidence," NBER Working Papers 5042, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. 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.
  13. Campbell, J.R., 1995. "Entry, Exit, Technology, and Business Cycles," RCER Working Papers 407, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  14. Steve J. Davis & John Haltiwanger, 1991. "Gross Job Creation, Gross Job Destruction and Employment Reallocation," NBER Working Papers 3728, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. Jeffrey R. Campbell, 1997. "Computational Appendix to Entry, Exit, Embodied Technology, and Business Cycles," Technical Appendices campbell98, Review of Economic Dynamics.
  18. Oliver Jean Blanchard & Finn E. Kydland, 1989. "Macroeconomic implications," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, pages 201-213.
  19. Jeffrey R. Campbell & Jonas D.M. Fisher, 1996. "Aggregate Employment Fluctuations with Microeconomic Asymmetries," NBER Working Papers 5767, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. Victor Aguirregabiria & Cesar Alonso-Borrego, 2009. "Labor Contracts and Flexibility: Evidence from a Labor Market Reform in Spain," Working Papers tecipa-346, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
  21. Hopenhayn, Hugo A, 1992. "Entry, Exit, and Firm Dynamics in Long Run Equilibrium," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(5), pages 1127-50, September.
  22. Caballero, R.J. & Hammour, M.L., 1991. "The Cleansing Effect of Recessions," Discussion Papers 1991_59, Columbia University, Department of Economics.
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  26. repec:dgr:vuarem:1994-50 is not listed on IDEAS
  27. Andolfatto, David, 1996. "Business Cycles and Labor-Market Search," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(1), pages 112-32, March.
  28. Daniel S. Hamermesh, 1988. "Labor Demand and the Structure of Adjustment Costs," NBER Working Papers 2572, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  29. Hamermesh, Daniel S. & Pfann, Gerard Antonie, 1996. "Adjustment Costs in Factor Demand," CEPR Discussion Papers 1371, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  30. Bentolila, Samuel & Bertola, Giuseppe, 1990. "Firing Costs and Labour Demand: How Bad Is Eurosclerosis?," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 57(3), pages 381-402, July.
  31. 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.
  32. Lazear, Edward P, 1990. "Job Security Provisions and Employment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 105(3), pages 699-726, August.
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