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On the employment effects of productivity shocks: The role of inventories, demand elasticity, and sticky prices

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  • Chang, Yongsung
  • Hornstein, Andreas
  • Sarte, Pierre-Daniel

Abstract

Whether technological progress raises or lowers employment in the short run has been the subject of much debate in the recent years. We show that cross-industry differences in inventory holding costs, demand elasticities, and price rigidities potentially all affect employment decisions in the face of productivity shocks. In particular, the employment response to a permanent productivity shock is more likely to be positive the less costly it is to hold inventories, the more elastic industry demand is, and the more flexible prices are. Using data on 458 4-digit U.S. manufacturing industries over the period 1958-1996, we find statistically significant effects of variations in inventory holdings and demand elasticities on short-run employment responses, but less conclusive evidence pertaining to the effects of measured price stickiness.

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  • Chang, Yongsung & Hornstein, Andreas & Sarte, Pierre-Daniel, 2009. "On the employment effects of productivity shocks: The role of inventories, demand elasticity, and sticky prices," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(3), pages 328-343, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:moneco:v:56:y:2009:i:3:p:328-343
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    Cited by:

    1. Kryvtsov, Oleksiy & Midrigan, Virgiliu, 2010. "Inventories and real rigidities in New Keynesian business cycle models," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 259-281, June.
    2. Lubik, Thomas A. & Teo, Wing Leong, 2012. "Inventories, inflation dynamics and the New Keynesian Phillips curve," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 56(3), pages 327-346.
    3. Robert S. Chirinko & Daniel J. Wilson, 2010. "State business taxes and investment: state-by-state simulations," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, pages 13-28.
    4. Maccini, Louis J. & Moore, Bartholomew & Schaller, Huntley, 2015. "Inventory behavior with permanent sales shocks," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 290-313.
    5. Vannoorenberghe, G., 2012. "Firm-level volatility and exports," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 86(1), pages 57-67.
    6. Hyunseung Oh & Nicolas Crouzet, 2013. "Can news shocks account for the business-cycle dynamics of inventories?," 2013 Meeting Papers 504, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    7. Teo, Wing Leong, 2011. "Inventories and optimal monetary policy in a small open economy," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 30(8), pages 1719-1748.
    8. Matteo Iacoviello & Fabio Schiantarelli & Scott Schuh, 2011. "Input And Output Inventories In General Equilibrium," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 52(4), pages 1179-1213, November.
    9. Gert Peersman & Roland Straub, 2009. "Technology Shocks And Robust Sign Restrictions In A Euro Area Svar," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 50(3), pages 727-750, August.
    10. Mark Bils & Peter J. Klenow & Benjamin A. Malin, 2013. "Testing for Keynesian Labor Demand," NBER Macroeconomics Annual, University of Chicago Press, vol. 27(1), pages 311-349.
    11. Thomas A. Lubik & Wing Leong Teo, 2009. "Inventories and optimal monetary policy," Economic Quarterly, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, issue Fall, pages 357-382.
    12. Park, Kangwoo, 2012. "Employment responses to aggregate and sectoral technology shocks," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 801-821.
    13. Kim Jung-Wook & Chun Hyunbae, 2011. "Technology Shocks and Employment: Evidence from U.S. Firm-Level Data," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 11(1), pages 1-23, September.
    14. Nikolay Gospodinov & Alex Maynard & Elena Pesavento, 2011. "Sensitivity of Impulse Responses to Small Low-Frequency Comovements: Reconciling the Evidence on the Effects of Technology Shocks," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 29(4), pages 455-467, October.
    15. Marcel Förster, 2014. "An Empirical Analysis of Business Cycles in a New Keynesian Model with Inventories," MAGKS Papers on Economics 201413, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
    16. Sarte, Pierre-Daniel & Schwartzman, Felipe & Lubik, Thomas A., 2015. "What inventory behavior tells us about how business cycles have changed," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(C), pages 264-283.
    17. Barnichon, Regis, 2010. "Productivity and unemployment over the business cycle," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(8), pages 1013-1025, November.

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