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Aggregate employment fluctuations with microeconomic asymmetries

  • Jeffrey R. Campbell
  • Jonas D.M. Fisher

We provide a simple explanation for the observation that the variance of job destruction is greater than the variance of job creation. In our model profit maximization in the presence of proportional plant-level costs of job creation and destruction implies that shrinking plants are more sensitive than growing plants to aggregate shocks. We describe circumstances in which this microeconomic asymmetry is preserved in the aggregate and show that it can account for asymmetries in the variability of job creation and destruction of the kind observed in the U.S. manufacturing sector. This is so even though we abstract from job search and matching frictions, incomplete contracts, and aggregate congestion effects, all of which have been put forward as important for understanding the job creation and destruction evidence.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago in its series Working Paper Series, Macroeconomic Issues with number WP-96-17.

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Date of creation: 1998
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedhma:wp-96-17
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  1. Caballero, Ricardo J & Hammour, Mohamad L, 1996. "On the Timing and Efficiency of Creative Destruction," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 111(3), pages 805-52, August.
  2. Jeffrey R. Campbell & Jonas D.M. Fisher, 1998. "Aggregate employment fluctuations with microeconomic asymmetries," Working Paper Series, Macroeconomic Issues WP-96-17, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  3. Ricardo J. Caballero & Eduardo M.R.A. Engel & John Haltiwanger, 1995. "Aggregate Employment Dynamics: Building From Microeconomic Evidence," NBER Working Papers 5042, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Jeffrey R. Campbell, 1997. "Entry, Exit, Embodied Technology, and Business Cycles," NBER Working Papers 5955, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Victor Aguirregabiria & Cesar Alonso-Borrego, 2009. "Labor contracts and flexibility : evidence from a labor market reform in Spain," Economics Working Papers we091811, Universidad Carlos III, Departamento de Economía.
  6. Caballero, R.J., 1990. "A Fallacy Of Composition," Discussion Papers 1990_01, Columbia University, Department of Economics.
  7. Bertola, G. & Caballero, R.J., 1990. "Kinked Adjustment Costs And Aggregate Dynamics," Discussion Papers 1990_20, Columbia University, Department of Economics.
  8. Giuseppe Bertola & Richard Rogerson, 1996. "Institutions and Labor Reallocation," NBER Working Papers 5828, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Andolfatto, David, 1996. "Business Cycles and Labor-Market Search," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(1), pages 112-32, March.
  10. Hopenhayn, Hugo & Rogerson, Richard, 1993. "Job Turnover and Policy Evaluation: A General Equilibrium Analysis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(5), pages 915-38, October.
  11. Thomas J. Sargent, 1978. "Estimation of dynamic labor demand schedules under rational expectations," Staff Report 27, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  12. Bentolila, Samuel & Bertola, Giuseppe, 1990. "Firing Costs and Labour Demand: How Bad Is Eurosclerosis?," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 57(3), pages 381-402, July.
  13. Ricardo J. Caballero & Mohamad L. Hammour, 1991. "The Cleansing Effect of Recessions," NBER Working Papers 3922, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Matthew D. Shapiro, 1984. "The Dynamic Demand for Capital and Labor," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 735, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  15. Steven J. Davis & John C. Haltiwanger & Scott Schuh, 1998. "Job Creation and Destruction," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262540932, June.
  16. Campbell, J.R., 1995. "Entry, Exit, Technology, and Business Cycles," RCER Working Papers 407, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  17. Davis, Steven J & Haltiwanger, John C, 1992. "Gross Job Creation, Gross Job Destruction, and Employment Reallocation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(3), pages 819-63, August.
  18. Aizcorbe, Ana M, 1992. "Procyclical Labour Productivity, Increasing Returns to Labour and Labour Hoarding in Car Assembly Plant Employment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 102(413), pages 860-73, July.
  19. Benveniste, L M & Scheinkman, J A, 1979. "On the Differentiability of the Value Function in Dynamic Models of Economics," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(3), pages 727-32, May.
  20. Christopher L. Foote, 1998. "Trend Employment Growth And The Bunching Of Job Creation And Destruction," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 113(3), pages 809-834, August.
  21. Daniel S. Hamermesh, 1988. "Labor Demand and the Structure of Adjustment Costs," NBER Working Papers 2572, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  22. Dale T. Mortensen & Christopher A. Pissarides, 1993. "Job Creation and Job Destruction in the Theory of Unemployment," CEP Discussion Papers dp0110, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  23. Lazear, Edward P, 1990. "Job Security Provisions and Employment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 105(3), pages 699-726, August.
  24. Daniel S. Hamermesh & Gerard A. Pfann, 1996. "Adjustment Costs in Factor Demand," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 34(3), pages 1264-1292, September.
  25. Hopenhayn, Hugo A, 1992. "Entry, Exit, and Firm Dynamics in Long Run Equilibrium," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(5), pages 1127-50, September.
  26. Pfann, Gerald A. & Verspagen, Bart, 1989. "The structure of adjustment costs for labour in the Dutch manufacturing sector," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 29(4), pages 365-371.
  27. Jeffrey R. Campbell, 1997. "Computational Appendix to Entry, Exit, Embodied Technology, and Business Cycles," Technical Appendices campbell98, Review of Economic Dynamics.
  28. Oliver Jean Blanchard & Finn E. Kydland, 1989. "Macroeconomic implications," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, pages 201-213.
  29. Mortensen, Dale T., 1994. "The cyclical behavior of job and worker flows," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 18(6), pages 1121-1142, November.
  30. 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.
  31. Robert E. Lucas Jr., 1978. "On the Size Distribution of Business Firms," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 9(2), pages 508-523, Autumn.
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