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Macroeconomic effects of employment reallocation

  • Campbell, Jeffrey R.
  • Kuttner, Kenneth N.

Major shifts in employment between industries and between firms within industries usually accompany recessions. Although this observation suggests that exogenous changes in the optimal allocation of labor are an important source of aggregate employment fluctuations, the macroeconomic significance of such shocks has remained unknown. This paper empirically assesses the role of reallocation shocks for cyclical employment fluctuations, and investigates the relationship between inter- and intrasectoral employment flows. In an analysis of total employment and the share employed in manufacturing, we find that reallocation shocks account for the majority of the variance in employment shares and dispersion, while aggregate shocks' contribution is modest. The two shocks' impact on aggregate employment is sensitive to the identifying assumptions. However, under two of the three methods considered reallocation shocks account for over half of the variance in total employment. Including a measure of reallocation between firms in the manufacturing sector diminishes the effects of the intersectoral reallocation shocks on total and manufacturing employment, largely at the expense of the shocks to intrasectoral allocation. Together, the two reallocation shocks account for roughly half of the variance in total employment growth. We also find that permanent shifts in employment out of manufacturing depress job creation while increasing job destruction; by contrast, increases in employment reallocation between manufacturing establishments are associated with increases in both creation and destruction.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy.

Volume (Year): 44 (1996)
Issue (Month): 1 (June)
Pages: 87-116

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Handle: RePEc:eee:crcspp:v:44:y:1996:i::p:87-116
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  4. Davis, Steven J., 1987. "Fluctuations in the pace of labor reallocation," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 335-402, January.
  5. Olivier Jean Blanchard & Danny Quah, 1988. "The Dynamic Effects of Aggregate Demand and Supply Disturbance," Working papers 497, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  6. Ricardo J. Caballero & Mohamad L. Hammour, 1994. "On the Timing and Efficiency of Creative Destruction," NBER Working Papers 4768, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. 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 19 pages.
  8. Abraham, Katharine G. & Katz, Lawrence F., 1986. "Cyclical Unemployment: Sectoral Shifts or Aggregate Disturbances?," Scholarly Articles 3442781, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  9. Jeremy Greenwood & Glenn M. MacDonald & Guang-Jia Zhang, 1994. "The cyclical behavior of job creation and job destruction: a sectoral model," Discussion Paper / Institute for Empirical Macroeconomics 88, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  10. Dunne, Timothy & Roberts, Mark J & Samuelson, Larry, 1989. "Plant Turnover and Gross Employment Flows in the U.S. Manufacturing Sector," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 7(1), pages 48-71, January.
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  12. Stock, James H., 1991. "Confidence intervals for the largest autoregressive root in U.S. macroeconomic time series," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 435-459, December.
  13. Loungani, Prakash & Rogerson, Richard, 1989. "Cyclical fluctuations and sectoral reallocation : Evidence from the PSID," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 259-273, March.
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  15. Jeremy Greenwood & Gregory W. Huffman, 1988. "On Modelling the Natural Rate of Unemployment with Indivisible Labour," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 21(3), pages 587-609, August.
  16. George R. Neumann & Robert H. Topel, 1991. "Employment Risk, Diversification, and Unemployment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(4), pages 1341-1365.
  17. Campbell, J.R., 1995. "Entry, Exit, Technology, and Business Cycles," RCER Working Papers 407, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  18. Ellen R. Rissman, 1992. "Wage growth and sectoral shifts: Phillips curve redux," Working Paper Series, Macroeconomic Issues 92-23, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  19. 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.
  20. Hamilton, James D., 1988. "Are the macroeconomic effects of oil-price changes symmetric? : A comment," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 369-378, January.
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  22. Rogerson, Richard, 1987. "An Equilibrium Model of Sectoral Reallocation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(4), pages 824-34, August.
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