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The cost of labor adjustment : inferences from the gap

  • Russell Cooper
  • Jonathan Willis

We study labor adjustment costs. We specify a dynamic optimization problem at the plant-level, allowing for both convex and non-convex adjustment costs. We estimate the parameters of the adjustment process using an indirect inference procedure in which simulated moments are matched with data moments. For this study we use estimates of reduced form adjustment functions obtained by the "gap methodology" reported in Caballero and Engel (1993). Contrary to evidence at the micro level in support of non-convex adjustment costs, our preliminary findings indicate that piecewise quadratic adjustment costs are sufficient to match these aggregate moments.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City in its series Research Working Paper with number RWP 02-11.

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Date of creation: 2002
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedkrw:rwp02-11
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  1. Jerome Adda & Russell Cooper, 1997. "Balladurette and Juppette: A Discrete Analysis of Scrapping Subsidies," Papers 0076, Boston University - Industry Studies Programme.
  2. Russell Cooper & John Haltiwanger & Jonathan L. Willis, 2003. "Dynamics of labor demand : evidence from plant-level observations and aggregate implications," Research Working Paper RWP 03-12, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
  3. Hamermesh, Daniel S, 1989. "Labor Demand and the Structure of Adjustment Costs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(4), pages 674-89, September.
  4. Rust, John, 1987. "Optimal Replacement of GMC Bus Engines: An Empirical Model of Harold Zurcher," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(5), pages 999-1033, September.
  5. 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.
  6. Thomas J. Sargent, 1978. "Estimation of dynamic labor demand schedules under rational expectations," Staff Report 27, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  7. Ricardo J. Caballero & Eduardo M.R.A. Engel, 1992. "Microeconomic Adjustment Hazards and Aggregate Dynamics," NBER Working Papers 4090, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. John Haltiwanger & Russell Cooper & Laura Power, 1999. "Machine Replacement and the Business Cycle: Lumps and Bumps," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(4), pages 921-946, September.
  9. Russell Cooper & Jonathan L. Willis, 2003. "The economics of labor adjustment: mind the gap," Staff Report 310, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  10. Pfann, Gerard A & Palm, Franz C, 1993. "Asymmetric Adjustment Costs in Non-linear Labour Demand Models for the Netherlands and U.K. Manufacturing Sectors," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 60(2), pages 397-412, April.
  11. Contreras, Juan, 2006. "An Empirical Model of Factor Adjustment Dynamics," MPRA Paper 9797, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  12. Hamermesh, Daniel S. & Pfann, Gerard Antonie, 1996. "Adjustment Costs in Factor Demand," CEPR Discussion Papers 1371, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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