Smooth and Sticky Adjustment: A Comparative Analysis of the US and UK
This paper adopts the methodology of the microeconometric labor literature to analyze a common assertion from trade economists that reallocation within sectors is less costly than between sectors. Findings are compared across two countries (the UK and US) which have experienced very different recent aggregate unemployment experiences. Workers previously employed in "declining" sectors are more mobile than those employed in "expanding" sectors in both countries, and individuals are more likely to switch sector the longer they are unemployed. A plausible explanation for this is that individuals initially attempt to find jobs that complement their general and specific skills in order to accrue the associated rewards, and move sector only as this prospect diminishes. This would seem to accord with the "smooth adjustment hypothesis" which proposes that intraindustry adjustments are less costly than interindustry ones. Copyright 2000 by Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
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Volume (Year): 8 (2000)
Issue (Month): 3 (August)
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