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The Cost of Labor Adjustment: Inferences from the Gap

  • Russell Cooper

    (University of Texas)

  • Jonathan Willis

    (Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City)

This paper studies the aggregate implications of micro-level labor adjustment costs. Caballero and Engel (1993) find a dependence of aggregate employment growth on the cross sectional distribution of "employment gaps." This paper uses those results as moments in an indirect inference procedure to infer the underlying labor adjustment costs. We specify a dynamic optimization problem at the plant level, allowing for both convex and non-convex adjustment costs. Consistent with evidence at the micro level, our findings indicate that non-convex adjustment costs are necessary to match these aggregate moments. (Copyright: Elsevier)

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File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.red.2008.12.001
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Article provided by Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics in its journal Review of Economic Dynamics.

Volume (Year): 12 (2009)
Issue (Month): 4 (October)
Pages: 632-647

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Handle: RePEc:red:issued:06-149
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  1. Sargent, Thomas J, 1978. "Estimation of Dynamic Labor Demand Schedules under Rational Expectations," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(6), pages 1009-44, December.
  2. Contreras, Juan, 2006. "An Empirical Model of Factor Adjustment Dynamics," MPRA Paper 9797, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. Gerard A. Pfann & Franz C. Palm, 1993. "Asymmetric Adjustment Costs in Non-linear Labour Demand Models for the Netherlands and U.K. Manufacturing Sectors," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 60(2), pages 397-412.
  4. Russell W. Cooper & John Haltiwanger & Jonathan L. Willis, 2003. "Dynamics of labor demand : evidence from plant-level observations and aggregate implications," Research Working Paper RWP 03-12, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
  5. John Haltiwanger & Russell Cooper & Laura Power, 1999. "Machine Replacement and the Business Cycle: Lumps and Bumps," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(4), pages 921-946, September.
  6. Ricardo J. Caballero & Eduardo M. R. A. Engel, 1993. "Microeconomic Adjustment Hazards and Aggregate Dynamics," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 108(2), pages 359-383.
  7. Adda, Jérôme & Cooper, Russell W., 1997. "Balladurette and jupette: a discrete analysis of scrapping subsidies," CEPREMAP Working Papers (Couverture Orange) 9711, CEPREMAP.
  8. Ricardo J. Caballero & Eduardo Engel & John Haltiwanger, 1996. "Aggregate Employment Dynamics: Building from Microeconomic Evidence," Documentos de Trabajo 6, Centro de Economía Aplicada, Universidad de Chile.
  9. Hamermesh, Daniel S. & Pfann, Gerard Antonie, 1996. "Adjustment Costs in Factor Demand," CEPR Discussion Papers 1371, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. Russell W. Cooper & Jonathan L. Willis, 2001. "The economics of labor adjustment : mind the gap," Research Working Paper RWP 01-06, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
  11. Hamermesh, Daniel S, 1989. "Labor Demand and the Structure of Adjustment Costs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(4), pages 674-89, September.
  12. Rust, John, 1987. "Optimal Replacement of GMC Bus Engines: An Empirical Model of Harold Zurcher," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(5), pages 999-1033, September.
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