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Task Assignment over the Business Cycle

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  • Devereux, Paul J

Abstract

In this article, I evaluate the hypothesis that firms respond to negative demand shocks by assigning workers to tasks that require less skill than the tasks they normally carry out. Using changes in employment in state-industry cells as a measure of demand conditions facing individual firms, I provide evidence in favor of the hypothesis. Furthermore, the skill requirements of the tasks carried out by workers are procyclical. The results are consistent with a specific capital model where employers move workers between tasks so that layoffs are concentrated on workers with low levels of firm-specific human capital. Copyright 2000 by University of Chicago Press.

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  • Devereux, Paul J, 2000. "Task Assignment over the Business Cycle," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 18(1), pages 98-124, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlabec:v:18:y:2000:i:1:p:98-124
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    Cited by:

    1. Berman, Nicolas & Berthou, Antoine & Héricourt, Jérôme, 2015. "Export dynamics and sales at home," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(2), pages 298-310.
    2. Leombruni, Roberto & Razzolini, Tiziano & Serti, Francesco, 2015. "The Hidden Cost of Labor Market Entry During Recession: Unemployment Rate at Entry and Occupational Injury Risk of Young Workers," IZA Discussion Papers 8968, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. Thomas Åstebro & Jing Chen & Peter Thompson, 2011. "Stars and Misfits: Self-Employment and Labor Market Frictions," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 57(11), pages 1999-2017, November.
    4. Nicolas Berman & Antoine Berthou & Jérôme Héricourt, 2012. "Export dynamics and sales at home," Working Papers hal-00988194, HAL.
    5. Cathy Ning & Stephen Sapp, 2009. "Segmentation across International Equity, Bond, and Foreign Exchange Markets," Working Papers 010, Ryerson University, Department of Economics.
    6. Kirsten Daniel & W. S. Siebert, 2005. "Does employment protection reduce the demand for unskilled labour?," International Economic Journal, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 19(2), pages 197-222.
    7. Caponi Vincenzo & Kayahan Burc & Plesca Miana, 2010. "The Impact of Aggregate and Sectoral Fluctuations on Training Decisions," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 10(1), pages 1-37, October.
    8. Beatrice Brunner & Andreas Kuhn, 2014. "The impact of labor market entry conditions on initial job assignment and wages," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 27(3), pages 705-738, July.
    9. Paul J. Devereux & Robert A. Hart, 2006. "Real Wage Cyclicality of Job Stayers, Within-Company Job Movers, and Between-Company Job Movers," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 60(1), pages 105-119, October.
    10. Ariga, Kenn, 2006. "Horizontal transfer, vertical promotion, and evolution of firm organization," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 20(1), pages 20-49, March.
    11. Rinaldi, Gustavo, 2007. "Redundancies in an industry in transition: who gets fired and why? Evidence from one consumer-goods industry in Russia," MPRA Paper 21940, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    12. Summerfield, Fraser, 2014. "Labor Market Conditions, Skill Requirements and Education Mismatch," CLSSRN working papers clsrn_admin-2014-19, Vancouver School of Economics, revised 28 Apr 2014.
    13. repec:bla:ecinqu:v:55:y:2017:i:3:p:1370-1387 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Beatrice Brunner & Andreas Kuhn, 2010. "The Impact of Labor Market Entry Condition on Initial Job Assignment, Human Capital Accumulation, and Wages," NRN working papers 2010-15, The Austrian Center for Labor Economics and the Analysis of the Welfare State, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
    15. Beatrice Brunner & Andreas Kuhn, 2009. "To shape the future: How labor market entry conditions affect individuals' long-run wage profiles," IEW - Working Papers 457, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
    16. Verhaest Dieter & Velden Rolf van der, 2010. "Cross-country differences in graduate overeducation and its persistence," ROA Research Memorandum 007, Maastricht University, Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market (ROA).
    17. Illoong Kwon & Eva Meyersson Milgrom & Seiwoon Hwang, 2010. "Cohort Effects in Promotions and Wages: Evidence from Sweden and the United States," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 45(3).
    18. Abe, Yukiko, 2012. "A cohort analysis of male labor supply in Japan," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 23-43.
    19. Ludsteck, Johannes & Haupt, Harry, 2007. "An Empirical Test of Reder Competition and Specific Human Capital Against Standard Wage Competition," Discussion Papers in Economics 1977, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
    20. Beartice Brunner & Andreas Kuhn, 2009. "To Shape the Future: How Labor Market Entry Conditions Affect Individuals’s Long-Run Wage Profiles," NRN working papers 2009-29, The Austrian Center for Labor Economics and the Analysis of the Welfare State, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
    21. Ludsteck, Johannes & Haupt, Harald, 2007. "An Empirical Test of the Reder Hypothesis," Discussion Papers in Economics 1397, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
    22. Brunner, Beatrice & Kuhn, Andreas, 2009. "To Shape the Future: How Labor Market Entry Conditions Affect Individuals' Long-Run Wage Profiles," IZA Discussion Papers 4601, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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