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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
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  1. Andrew B. Abel & Olivier J. Blanchard, 1983. "The Present Value of Profits and Cyclical Movements in Investment," NBER Working Papers 1122, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  3. Bentolila, Samuel & Saint-Paul, Gilles, 1992. "A Model of Labour Demand with Linear Adjustment Costs," CEPR Discussion Papers 690, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Mark Doms & Timothy Dunne, 1994. "Capital Adjustment Patterns in Manufacturing Plants," Working Papers 94-11, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  5. Barnett, Steven A. & Sakellaris, Plutarchos, 1998. "Nonlinear response of firm investment to Q:: Testing a model of convex and non-convex adjustment costs1," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(2), pages 261-288, July.
  6. 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.
  7. Lewbel, Arthur, 2007. "Endogenous selection or treatment model estimation," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 141(2), pages 777-806, December.
  8. John M. Abowd & Patrick Corbel & Francis Kramarz, 1996. "The Entry and Exit of Workers and the Growth of Employment: An Analysis of French Establishments," NBER Working Papers 5551, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Andrew B. Abel & Janice C. Eberly, 1993. "A Unified Model of Investment Under Uncertainty," NBER Working Papers 4296, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Dominique Goux & Eric Maurin & Marianne Pauchet, 1999. "Fixed-term Contracts and the Dynamics of Labour Demand," Working Papers 99-02, Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistique.
  11. Jeffrey R. Campbell & Jonas D.M.Fisher, 2000. "Idiosyncratic Risk and Aggregate Employment Dynamics," NBER Working Papers 7936, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Hamermesh, Daniel S. & Pfann, Gerard Antonie, 1996. "Adjustment Costs in Factor Demand," CEPR Discussion Papers 1371, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  13. Russell Cooper & John Haltiwanger & Laura Power, 1995. "Machine Replacement and the Business Cycle: Lumps and Bumps," Papers 0062, Boston University - Industry Studies Programme.
  14. Kramarz, Francis & Michaud, Marie-Laure, 2003. "The Shape of Hiring and Separation Costs," CEPR Discussion Papers 3685, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  15. Pagan, Adrian, 1984. "Econometric Issues in the Analysis of Regressions with Generated Regressors," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 25(1), pages 221-47, February.
  16. Salvanes, K-G, 1996. "Market Rigidities and Labour Market Flexibility : An International Comparison," Papers 23/96, Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration-.
  17. Simon Gilchrist & Charles Himmelberg, 1998. "Investment, Fundamentals and Finance," NBER Working Papers 6652, 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. 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.
  20. Daniel S. Hamermesh, 1988. "Labor Demand and the Structure of Adjustment Costs," NBER Working Papers 2572, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  21. Abowd, John M. & Kramarz, Francis, 2003. "The costs of hiring and separations," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(5), pages 499-530, October.
  22. 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.
  23. Simon Burgess & Julia Lane & David Stevens, 1996. "Job Flows, Worker Flows and Churning," Labor and Demography 9604004, EconWPA.
  24. 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.
  25. 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.
  26. Daniel S. Hamermesh, 1993. "Labor Demand and the Source of Adjustment Costs," NBER Working Papers 4394, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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