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Firm entry and labor market dynamics

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  • Enchuan Shao
  • Pedro Silos

Abstract

We present a model of aggregate fluctuations in which monopolistic firms face sunk costs to enter the production process and labor markets are characterized by search and matching frictions. Entrants post vacancies and are matched to idle workers. Our specification of sunk costs gives rise to a countercyclical net present value of a vacancy; it is always zero in models where entry is free. The model displays a strong degree of amplification and propagation. The time-varying value of a vacancy has implications for the surplus division between firms and workers over business cycle. In the data, we proxy this division using the ratio of corporate profits to output and workers' compensation to output. We document the cyclical behavior of profit's and labor's shares: Profit's share leads the cycle and is procyclical and more volatile than output. Labor's share inversely leads the cycle and is weakly countercyclical and smoother than output. Our model is consistent with the cross-correlations of both shares and the higher volatility of the share of profits. Regarding propagation and amplification, the model matches the persistence of vacancy creation and two-thirds of the observed volatility of market tightness relative to output.

Suggested Citation

  • Enchuan Shao & Pedro Silos, 2008. "Firm entry and labor market dynamics," FRB Atlanta Working Paper 2008-17, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedawp:2008-17
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    Cited by:

    1. Florin O. Bilbiie & Fabio Ghironi & Marc J. Melitz, 2012. "Endogenous Entry, Product Variety, and Business Cycles," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 120(2), pages 304-345.
    2. Fabio Ghironi & Sanjay K. Chugh, 2010. "Optimal Fiscal Policy with Endogenous Product Variety," 2010 Meeting Papers 812, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    3. Cacciatore, Matteo & Fiori, Giuseppe & Ghironi, Fabio, 2016. "Market deregulation and optimal monetary policy in a monetary union," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 99(C), pages 120-137.
    4. Guido Menzio & Shouyong Shi, 2011. "Efficient Search on the Job and the Business Cycle," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 119(3), pages 468-510.
    5. Andrea Colciago & Lorenza Rossi, 2011. "Endogenous Market Structures and Labor Market Dynamics," Quaderni di Dipartimento 139, University of Pavia, Department of Economics and Quantitative Methods, revised Feb 2011.
    6. Epstein, Brendan & Finkelstein Shapiro, Alan, 2017. "Employment and firm heterogeneity, capital allocation, and countercyclical labor market policies," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 127(C), pages 25-41.
    7. Andrea Colciago & Lorenza Rossi, 2011. "Endogenous Market Structures and Labor Market Dynamics (New version)," Quaderni di Dipartimento 155, University of Pavia, Department of Economics and Quantitative Methods.
    8. Shao, Enchuan & Silos, Pedro, 2013. "Entry costs and labor market dynamics," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 63(C), pages 243-255.

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