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Reallocation in the Great Recession: Cleansing or Not?

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  • Lucia Foster
  • Cheryl Grim
  • John Haltiwanger

Abstract

The high pace of reallocation across producers is pervasive in the US economy. Evidence shows that this high pace of reallocation is closely linked to productivity. While these patterns hold on average, the extent to which the reallocation dynamics in recessions are "cleansing" is an open question. We find that downturns prior to the Great Recession are periods of accelerated reallocation even more productivity enhancing than reallocation in normal times. In the Great Recession, we find that the intensity of reallocation fell rather than rose and that the reallocation that did occur was less productivity enhancing than in prior recessions.

Suggested Citation

  • Lucia Foster & Cheryl Grim & John Haltiwanger, 2016. "Reallocation in the Great Recession: Cleansing or Not?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 34(S1), pages 293-331.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlabec:doi:10.1086/682397
    DOI: 10.1086/682397
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • J63 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Turnover; Vacancies; Layoffs
    • O4 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity

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