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General Productivity Growth in a Theory of Quits and Layoffs


  • McLaughlin, Kenneth J


An efficient matching model of quits and layoffs is developed to account for several empirical regularities. Differences between quits and layoffs over the life and business cycles and across demographic groups are generated by differential rates of general productivity growth. The standard approach to quits and layoffs, based on wage rigidity, is shown to be incapable of accounting for many of the empirical regularities. Although a formal test rejects a structural prediction of the efficient turnover model, the specification does well in predicting both the level of, and time-series variation in, the fraction of separations labeled quits. Copyright 1990 by University of Chicago Press.

Suggested Citation

  • McLaughlin, Kenneth J, 1990. "General Productivity Growth in a Theory of Quits and Layoffs," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 8(1), pages 75-98, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlabec:v:8:y:1990:i:1:p:75-98

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Eaton, Curtis & White, William D, 1983. "The Economy of High Wages: An Agency Problem," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 50(198), pages 175-181, May.
    2. George A. Akerlof, 1982. "Labor Contracts as Partial Gift Exchange," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 97(4), pages 543-569.
    3. Wessels, Walter J, 1980. "The Effect of Minimum Wages in the Presence of Fringe Benefits: An Expanded Model," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 18(2), pages 293-313, April.
    4. Barry Nalebuff & David Scharfstein, 1987. "Testing in Models of Asymmetric Information," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 54(2), pages 265-277.
    5. Shapiro, Carl & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1984. "Equilibrium Unemployment as a Worker Discipline Device," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(3), pages 433-444, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Bewley, Truman, 2002. "Interviews as a valid empirical tool in economics," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 31(4), pages 343-353.
    2. Steven J. Davis & R. Jason Faberman & John Haltiwanger & Ron Jarmin & Javier Miranda, 2010. "Business Volatility, Job Destruction, and Unemployment," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(2), pages 259-287, April.
    3. Davis, Steven J. & Faberman, R. Jason & Haltiwanger, John, 2012. "Labor market flows in the cross section and over time," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(1), pages 1-18.
    4. Loewenstein, Mark A & Spletzer, James R, 1998. "Dividing the Costs and Returns to General Training," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 16(1), pages 142-171, January.
    5. Marcela Perticara, "undated". "Wage Mobility Through Job Mobility," ILADES-Georgetown University Working Papers inv141, Ilades-Georgetown University, Universidad Alberto Hurtado/School of Economics and Bussines.
    6. Nahum Biger & Steven Plaut, 2000. "Trade Secrets, Firm-Specific Human Capital, and Optimal Contracting," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 9(1), pages 51-73, January.
    7. Clare Leaver & Gian Luigi Albano, 2004. "Transparency, Recruitment and Retention in the Public Sector," Economics Series Working Papers 219, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    8. Marcela Perticara, 2006. "Women’s Employment Transitions and Fertility," ILADES-Georgetown University Working Papers inv172, Ilades-Georgetown University, Universidad Alberto Hurtado/School of Economics and Bussines.
    9. Bewley, Truman F., 1998. "Why not cut pay?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 42(3-5), pages 459-490, May.
    10. Christofides, Louis N & McKenna, C J, 1996. "Unemployment Insurance and Job Duration in Canada," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 14(2), pages 286-312, April.

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