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On the Timing and Efficiency of Creative Destruction

  • Caballero, Ricardo J
  • Hammour, Mohamad L

The authors 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. Copyright 1996, the President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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Article provided by MIT Press in its journal Quarterly Journal of Economics.

Volume (Year): 111 (1996)
Issue (Month): 3 (August)
Pages: 805-52

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Handle: RePEc:tpr:qjecon:v:111:y:1996:i:3:p:805-52
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  1. Aghion, P. & Howitt, P., 1990. "A Model Of Growth Through Creative Destruction," DELTA Working Papers 90-12, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
  2. 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.
  3. Aghion, Philippe & Howitt, Peter, 1992. "A Model of Growth Through Creative Destruction," Scholarly Articles 12490578, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  4. Katharine G. Abraham & Lawrence F. Katz, 1987. "Cyclical Unemployment: Sectoral Shifts or Aggregate Disturbances?," NBER Working Papers 1410, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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