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Do technological improvements in the manufacturing sector raise or lower employment?

  • Yongsung Chang
  • Jay H. Hong

We find that technology's effect on employment varies greatly across manufacturing industries. Some industries exhibit a temporary reduction in employment in response to a permanent increase in TFP, whereas far more industries exhibit an employment increase in response to a permanent TFP shock. This raises serious questions about existing work that finds that a labor productivity shock has a strong negative effect on employment. There are tantalizing and interesting differences between TFP and labor productivity. We argue that TFP is a more natural measure of technology because labor productivity reflects shifts in the input mix as well as in technology.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia in its series Working Papers with number 05-5.

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Date of creation: 2005
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedpwp:05-5
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  9. Jordi Gali, 1999. "Technology, Employment, and the Business Cycle: Do Technology Shocks Explain Aggregate Fluctuations?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(1), pages 249-271, March.
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  16. Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Robert Vigfusson, 2003. "What Happens After a Technology Shock?," NBER Working Papers 9819, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Susanto Basu & John G. Fernald, 1996. "Returns to scale in U.S. production: estimates and implications," International Finance Discussion Papers 546, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  18. Kortum, Samuel, 1993. "Equilibrium R&D and the Patent-R&D Ratio: U.S. Evidence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(2), pages 450-57, May.
  19. John Shea, 1998. "What Do Technology Shocks Do?," NBER Working Papers 6632, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. Marchetti, Domenico J. & Nucci, Francesco, 2005. "Price stickiness and the contractionary effect of technology shocks," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 49(5), pages 1137-1163, July.
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  23. Gort, Michael & Klepper, Steven, 1982. "Time Paths in the Diffusion of Product Innovations," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 92(367), pages 630-53, September.
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