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Job Destruction and the Experiences of Displaced Workers

Listed author(s):
  • den Haan, Wouter J.
  • Ramey, Garey
  • Watson, Joel

This paper evaluates a class of endogenous job destruction models based on how well they explain the observed experiences of displaced workers. We show that pure reallocation models in which relationship-specific productivity drifts downward over time are difficult to reconcile with the evidence on postdisplacement wages and displacement rates. Pure reallocation models with upward drift can explain the evidence, but implausibly large and persistent negative productivity shocks are required to generate displacements. Combining upward drift with outside benefits or moral hazard as additional motives for displacement makes it possible to explain the evidence with much smaller shocks. Propagation of aggregate shocks, welfare implications of displacement, upgrade of relationships in lieu of displacement, and learning effects are also discussed.

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Paper provided by Department of Economics, UC San Diego in its series University of California at San Diego, Economics Working Paper Series with number qt1rd0w96t.

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Date of creation: 01 Jun 1999
Handle: RePEc:cdl:ucsdec:qt1rd0w96t
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  26. Louis S. Jacobson & Robert J. LaLonde & Daniel G. Sullivan, 1993. "Long-term earnings losses of high-seniority displaced workers," Economic Perspectives, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, issue Nov, pages 2-20.
  27. Stevens, Ann Huff, 1997. "Persistent Effects of Job Displacement: The Importance of Multiple Job Losses," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(1), pages 165-188, January.
  28. Henry S. Farber, 1997. "The Changing face of Job Loss in the United States, 1981-1995," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 28(1997 Micr), pages 55-142.
  29. Neal, Derek, 1995. "Industry-Specific Human Capital: Evidence from Displaced Workers," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 13(4), pages 653-677, October.
  30. Topel, Robert, 1993. "What Have We Learned from Empirical Studies of Unemployment and Turnover?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(2), pages 110-115, May.
  31. Topel, Robert, 1990. "Specific capital and unemployment: Measuring the costs and consequences of job loss," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 181-214, January.
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  35. William J. Carrington, 1993. "Wage Losses for Displaced Workers: Is It Really the Firm That Matters?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 28(3), pages 435-462.
  36. Caballero, Ricardo J & Hammour, Mohamad L, 1994. "The Cleansing Effect of Recessions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(5), pages 1350-1368, December.
  37. Gadi Barlevy, 2002. "The Sullying Effect of Recessions," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 69(1), pages 65-96.
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