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Risk-averse firms and employment dynamics


  • M. Ali Choudhary
  • Paul Levine


In a turnover-training model, where firms fix high wages to lower worker turnover, we find that high risk-aversion in firms speeds up the adjustment process of unemployment to its natural levels when employers face either temporary or permanent shocks. Therefore, risk aversion has a stabilizing affect on the macroeconomy. This result complements the existing explanations for unemployment persistence. It also raises a general point concerning the wide-spread assumption of risk-neutrality on the part of firms in the real business cycle and New Keynesian DSGE literatures. Our analysis suggests that this is not an innocuous assumption for assessing fluctuations and the appropriate policy response. Assuming firms to be risk-neutral understates their self-stabilization characteristics and therefore leads to an exaggerated stabilization role for monetary and fiscal policies. Copyright 2010 Oxford University Press 2009 All rights reserved, Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • M. Ali Choudhary & Paul Levine, 2010. "Risk-averse firms and employment dynamics," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 62(3), pages 578-602, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:oxecpp:v:62:y:2010:i:3:p:578-602

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    Cited by:

    1. Kölling, Arnd, 2016. "Family Firms and Labor Demand: Size Matters – But Only the Small Ones are Different," VfS Annual Conference 2016 (Augsburg): Demographic Change 145471, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    2. repec:zbw:imbwps:90 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Bjuggren, Carl Magnus, 2015. "Sensitivity to shocks and implicit employment protection in family firms," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 119(C), pages 18-31.
    4. Arkadiy V. Sakhartov, 2017. "Economies of Scope, Resource Relatedness, and the Dynamics of Corporate Diversification," Strategic Management Journal, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 38(11), pages 2168-2188, November.
    5. Duane Rockerbie & Stephen Easton, 2018. "Revenue Sharing in Major League Baseball: The Moments That Meant so Much," IJFS, MDPI, vol. 6(3), pages 1-16, August.
    6. Dariel, Aurelie & Riedl, Arno & Siegenthaler, Simon, 2021. "Referral hiring and wage formation in a market with adverse selection," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 130(C), pages 109-130.
    7. Muzaffarjon Ahunov & Dilnovoz Abdurazzakova & Nurmukhammad Yusupov, 2019. "Who creates jobs in transition economies? The role of entrepreneurial risk preferences," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 39(3), pages 1876-1886.
    8. Kölling, Arnd, 2017. "Employment in family firms: Less but safe? Analyzing labor demand of German family firms with a treatment model for panel data," Working Papers 92, Berlin School of Economics and Law, Institute of Management Berlin (IMB).

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