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Gross job creation, gross job destruction and employment reallocation

Listed author(s):
  • Steve J. Davis
  • John Haltiwanger

This paper measures the heterogeneity of establishment-level employment changes in the U.S. manufacturing sector over the 1972 to 1986 period. Our empirical work exploits a rich data set with approximately 860,000 annual observations on 160,000 manufacturing establishments to calculate rates of gross job creation, gross job destruction, and their sum, gross job reallocation. The central empirical findings are as follows: (1) Based on March-to-March establishment-level employment changes, gross job reallocation averages more than 20% of employment per year. (2) For the manufacturing sector as a whole, March-to-March gross job reallocation varies over time from 17% to 23% of employment per year. (3) Time variation in gross job reallocation is countercyclic-gross job reallocation rates covary negatively with own-sector and manufacturing net employment growth rates. (4) Virtually all of the time variation in gross job reallocation is accounted for by idiosyncratic effects on the establishment growth rate density. Changes in the shape and location of the growth rate density due to aggregate-year effects and sector-year effects cannot explain the observed variation in gross job reallocation. (5) The part of gross job reallocation attributable to idiosyncratic effects fluctuates countercyclically. Combining (3) – (5), we conclude that the intensity of shifts in the pattern of employment opportunities across establishments exhibits significant countercyclic variation. In preparing the data for this study, we have greatly benefited from the assistance of Robert Bechtold, Timothy Dunne, Cyr Linonis, James Monahan, Al Nucci and other Census Bureau employees at the Center for Economic Studies. We have also benefited from helpful comments by Katherine Abraham, Martin Baily, Fischer Black, Timothy Dunne, David Lilien, Robert McGuckin, Kevin M. Murphy, Larrty Katz, John Wallis, workshop participants at the University of Maryland, the Resource Mobility Session of the Econometric so

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago in its series Working Paper Series, Macroeconomic Issues with number 91-5.

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Date of creation: 1991
Handle: RePEc:fip:fedhma:91-5
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  1. Abraham, Katharine G & Katz, Lawrence F, 1986. "Cyclical Unemployment: Sectoral Shifts or Aggregate Disturbances?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(3), pages 507-522, June.
  2. Lawrence F. Katz, 1988. "Some recent developments in labor economics and their implications for macroeconomics," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, pages 507-530.
  3. Evans, David S, 1987. "The Relationship between Firm Growth, Size, and Age: Estimates for 100 Manufacturing Industries," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 35(4), pages 567-581, June.
  4. Dunne, Timothy & Roberts, Mark J & Samuelson, Larry, 1989. "Plant Turnover and Gross Employment Flows in the U.S. Manufacturing Sector," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 7(1), pages 48-71, January.
  5. Loungani, Prakash, 1986. "Oil Price Shocks and the Dispersion Hypothesis," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 68(3), pages 536-539, August.
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  8. Bresnahan, T.F. & Raff, D.M.G., 1993. "Technological Heterogeneity, Adjustment Costs, and the Dynamics of Plant Shutdown Behavior: The American Motor Vehicule Industry in the Time of the Great Depression," Papers 93-09, Columbia - Graduate School of Business.
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  11. Steven J. Davis & John Haltiwanger, 1990. "Gross Job Creation and Destruction: Microeconomic Evidence and Macroeconomic Implications," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1990, Volume 5, pages 123-186 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Keane, Michael & Moffitt, Robert & Runkle, David, 1988. "Real Wages over the Business Cycle: Estimating the Impact of Heterogeneity with Micro Data," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(6), pages 1232-1266, December.
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  18. Loungani, P. & Ruch, M. & Tave, W., 1989. "Stock Market Dispersion, Unemployment And Gnp," Papers 89-02, Florida - College of Business Administration.
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  20. Loungani, Prakash & Rogerson, Richard, 1989. "Cyclical fluctuations and sectoral reallocation : Evidence from the PSID," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 259-273, March.
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  25. repec:hoo:wpaper:e-89-33 is not listed on IDEAS
  26. Bils, Mark J, 1985. "Real Wages over the Business Cycle: Evidence from Panel Data," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(4), pages 666-689, August.
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  28. Mork, Knut Anton, 1989. "Oil and Macroeconomy When Prices Go Up and Down: An Extension of Hamilton's Results," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(3), pages 740-744, June.
  29. Davis, Steven J, 1987. "Allocative Disturbances and Specific Capital in Real Business Cycle Theories," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(2), pages 326-332, May.
  30. S.A. Lippman & R.P. Rumelt, 1982. "Uncertain Imitability: An Analysis of Interfirm Differences in Efficiency under Competition," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 13(2), pages 418-438, Autumn.
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  32. Oliver Jean Blanchard & Peter Diamond, 1989. "The Beveridge Curve," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 20(1), pages 1-76.
  33. Johnson, G.E. & Layard, P.R.G., 1987. "The natural rate of unemployment: Explanation and policy," Handbook of Labor Economics,in: O. Ashenfelter & R. Layard (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 16, pages 921-999 Elsevier.
  34. John Haltiwanger & Steven J Davis & Scott Schuh, 1991. "Published Versus Sample Statistics From The ASM: Implications For The LRD," Working Papers 91-1, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  35. Lucas, Robert Jr. & Prescott, Edward C., 1974. "Equilibrium search and unemployment," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 7(2), pages 188-209, February.
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