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Employment Changes, the Structure of Adjustment Costs, and Plant Size

In this paper we analyze the pattern of employment adjustment using a rich panel of Norwegian plants. The data suggest that the frequency of episodes of zero net employment changes is inversely related to plant size. We develop and estimate a simple “q” model of labor demand, allowing for the presence of fixed, linear and convex components of adjustment costs. The econometric evidence supports the existence of purely fixed components, unrelated to plant size. As a result, the range of inaction is wider for smaller plants. The quadratic components of costs are also important. Finally, in most specifications both fixed and convex costs are higher for employment contractions.

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Paper provided by University of Bergen, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers in Economics with number 11/03.

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Length: 30 pages
Date of creation: 02 Nov 2003
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:bergec:2003_011
Contact details of provider: Postal: Institutt for økonomi, Universitetet i Bergen, Postboks 7802, 5020 Bergen, Norway
Phone: (+47)55589200
Fax: (+47)55589210
Web page: http://www.uib.no/econ/en
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  8. Austan Goolsbee & David B. Gross, 1997. "Estimating Adjustment Costs with Data on Heterogeneous Capital Goods," NBER Working Papers 6342, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Paola Rota, 2004. "Estimating Labor Demand with Fixed Costs," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 45(1), pages 25-48, 02.
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  11. Lewbel, Arthur, 2007. "Endogenous selection or treatment model estimation," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 141(2), pages 777-806, December.
  12. Øivind Anti Nilsen & Fabio Schiantarelli, 2003. "Zeros and Lumps in Investment: Empirical Evidence on Irreversibilities and Nonconvexities," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 85(4), pages 1021-1037, November.
  13. John M. Abowd & Francis Kramarz, 1997. "The Costs of Hiring and Separations," NBER Working Papers 6110, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Abel, Andrew B & Blanchard, Olivier J, 1986. "The Present Value of Profits and Cyclical Movements in Investment," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(2), pages 249-73, March.
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  16. Andrew B. Abel & Janice C. Eberly, . "A Unified Model of Investment Under Uncertainty," Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers 14-93, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
  17. Daniel S. Hamermesh, 1993. "Labor Demand and the Source of Adjustment Costs," NBER Working Papers 4394, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Hamermesh, Daniel S, 1992. "A General Model of Dynamic Labor Demand," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 74(4), pages 733-37, November.
  19. Jeffrey R. Campbell & Jonas D. M. Fisher, 2004. "Idiosyncratic Risk and Aggregate Employment Dynamics," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 7(2), pages 331-353, April.
  20. Mark Doms & Timothy Dunne, 1994. "Capital Adjustment Patterns in Manufacturing Plants," Working Papers 94-11, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  21. 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.
  22. Letterie, Wilko A. & Pfann, Gerard A., 2007. "Structural identification of high and low investment regimes," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(3), pages 797-819, April.
  23. Goux, Dominique & Maurin, Eric & Pauchet, Marianne, 2001. "Fixed-term contracts and the dynamics of labour demand," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(3), pages 533-552, March.
  24. Salvanes, K-G, 1996. "Market Rigidities and Labour Market Flexibility : An International Comparison," Papers 23/96, Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration-.
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