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Idiosyncratic Risk and Aggregate Employment Dynamics

  • Jeffrey R. Campbell

    (Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago)

  • Jonas D. M. Fisher

    (Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago)

This paper studies how idiosyncratic productivity risk impacts aggregate employment dynamics when there is a trade-off between workers' productivity and costs of job creation and destruction. In our analysis, increasing idiosyncratic risk induces a producer to move workers out of structured jobs that are costly to create and destroy and towards less-productive but more-flexible unstructured positions. This substitution leaves the producer's total employment more responsive to both idiosyncratic and aggregate disturbances. If all of an industry's producers respond to heightened idiosyncratic risk in this way, then industry-wide employment can respond more to a given aggregate shock. We apply this insight to connect differences between young and old manufacturing plants' aggregate employment dynamics with their corresponding differences in idiosyncratic variability. (Copyright: Elsevier)

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Article provided by Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics in its journal Review of Economic Dynamics.

Volume (Year): 7 (2004)
Issue (Month): 2 (April)
Pages: 331-353

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Handle: RePEc:red:issued:v:7:y:2004:i:2:p:331-353
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