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On the Timing and Efficiency of Creative Destruction

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  • Ricardo J. Caballero
  • Mohamad L. Hammour

Abstract

We analyze the timing, pace, and efficiency of ongoing job reallocation that results from product and process innovation. There are strong reasons why an efficient economy ought to concentrate both job creation and destruction during recessions, when the opportunity cost of reallocation is lowest. Incomplete contracting between labor and capital can disrupt this synchronized pattern and decouple creation and destruction. Transactional difficulties also lead to technological "sclerosis," characterized by excessively slow renovation. Government incentives to production may alleviate high unemployment but exacerbate sclerosis. In contrast, creation incentives increase the pace of reallocation. An optimal combination of both policies restores economic efficiency.

Suggested Citation

  • Ricardo J. Caballero & Mohamad L. Hammour, 1996. "On the Timing and Efficiency of Creative Destruction," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 111(3), pages 805-852.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:qjecon:v:111:y:1996:i:3:p:805-852.
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.2307/2946673
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Abraham, Katharine G & Katz, Lawrence F, 1986. "Cyclical Unemployment: Sectoral Shifts or Aggregate Disturbances?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(3), pages 507-522, June.
    2. Aghion, Philippe & Howitt, Peter, 1992. "A Model of Growth through Creative Destruction," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(2), pages 323-351, March.
    3. Oliver Jean Blanchard & Peter Diamond, 1989. "The Beveridge Curve," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 20(1), pages 1-76.
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    JEL classification:

    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • E6 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook

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