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Employment Dynamics and the Structure of Labor Adjustment Costs

Author

Listed:
  • Varejão, José

    () (University of Porto)

  • Portugal, Pedro

    () (Banco de Portugal)

Abstract

In this paper we document the patterns of employment adjustment at the micro-level. We find clear evidence of lumpy adjustment consistent with the presence of non-convexities in the adjustment technology - inaction is pervasive, action spells are short-lived, extreme adjustment episodes occur and are responsible for a non-trivial share of employment adjustment. We also find that the probability of employment adjustment increases with the duration of inaction (positive duration dependence). The skill structure of the workforce, the type of employment contract and the proportion of low tenure workers, which we interpret as proxies for the magnitude of adjustment costs, all influence the probability of adjustment.

Suggested Citation

  • Varejão, José & Portugal, Pedro, 2006. "Employment Dynamics and the Structure of Labor Adjustment Costs," IZA Discussion Papers 1922, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp1922
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Pedro Portugal & Olivier Blanchard, 2001. "What Hides Behind an Unemployment Rate: Comparing Portuguese and U.S. Labor Markets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(1), pages 187-207, March.
    2. 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, March.
    3. John M. Abowd & Patrick Corbel & Francis Kramarz, 1999. "The Entry And Exit Of Workers And The Growth Of Employment: An Analysis Of French Establishments," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 81(2), pages 170-187, May.
    4. Hamermesh, Daniel S, 1989. "Labor Demand and the Structure of Adjustment Costs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(4), pages 674-689, September.
    5. R. Gaston Gelos & Alberto Isgut, 2001. "Fixed Capital Adjustment: Is Latin America Different?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 83(4), pages 717-726, November.
    6. 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.
    7. 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.
    8. Daniel S. Hamermesh, 1992. "Spatial and Temporal Aggregation in the Dynamics of Labor Demand," NBER Working Papers 4055, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Blundell, Richard & Griffith, Rachel & Van Reenen, John, 1995. "Dynamic Count Data Models of Technological Innovation," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 105(429), pages 333-344, March.
    10. Eytan Sheshinski & Yoram Weiss, 1977. "Inflation and Costs of Price Adjustment," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 44(2), pages 287-303.
    11. Mark E. Doms & Timothy Dunne, 1998. "Capital Adjustment Patterns in Manufacturing Plants," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 1(2), pages 409-429, April.
    12. Patricia M. Anderson, 1993. "Linear Adjustment Costs and Seasonal Labor Demand: Evidence from Retail Trade Firms," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 108(4), pages 1015-1042.
    13. Caballero, Ricardo J & Engel, Eduardo M R A & Haltiwanger, John, 1997. "Aggregate Employment Dynamics: Building from Microeconomic Evidence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(1), pages 115-137, March.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    adjustment costs; job flows; worker flows; duration models;

    JEL classification:

    • J23 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Demand
    • J63 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Turnover; Vacancies; Layoffs

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