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Capital accumulation, unemployment, and the putty-clay


  • Javier Birchenall

    () (Department of Economics. University of California, Santa Barbara)


This note studies the dynamics of labor markets in a putty-clay framework. It analyzes the evolution of job creation and job destruction in an economy without market frictions. Unemployment and labor market flows emerge under putty-clay technologies because low productive jobs become unused factors. As capital accumulates, firms destruct low productive jobs by obsolescence. Simultaneously, the use of capital intensive technologies s new jobs by the low substitution between capital and labor.

Suggested Citation

  • Javier Birchenall, 2004. "Capital accumulation, unemployment, and the putty-clay," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 5(19), pages 1-8.
  • Handle: RePEc:ebl:ecbull:eb-04e20007

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Mortensen, Dale & Pissarides, Christopher, 2011. "Job Creation and Job Destruction in the Theory of Unemployment," Economic Policy, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration, vol. 1, pages 1-19.
    2. Mortensen, Dale T. & Pissarides, Christopher A., 1999. "Job reallocation, employment fluctuations and unemployment," Handbook of Macroeconomics,in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 18, pages 1171-1228 Elsevier.
    3. George A. Akerlof, 1981. "Jobs as Dam Sites," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 48(1), pages 37-49.
    4. Charles W. Bischoff, 1971. "Business Investment in the 1970s: A Comparison of Models," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, pages 13-64.
    5. Christopher A. Pissarides, 2000. "Equilibrium Unemployment Theory, 2nd Edition," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262161877, January.
    6. Abel, Andrew B, 1983. "Energy Price Uncertainty and Optimal Factor Intensity: A Mean-Variance Analysis," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(6), pages 1839-1845, November.
    7. Calvo, Guillermo A, 1976. "Optimal Growth in a Putty-Clay Model," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 44(5), pages 867-878, September.
    8. 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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    Cited by:

    1. Ishise, Hirokazu, 2016. "Capital heterogeneity as a source of comparative advantage: Putty-clay technology in a ricardian model," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 99(C), pages 223-236.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E2 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment
    • D9 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics


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