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Labor Adjustment Costs in a Panel of Establishments: A Structural Approach

  • Ejarque, Joao


    (University of Essex)

  • Portugal, Pedro


    (Banco de Portugal)

This paper estimates a structural model of the employment decision of the firm. Our establishment level data displays an extreme degree of rigidity in that employment levels are largely constant throughout our sample. This can be due to the fact that establishments face large shocks but also large adjustment costs, or alternatively that they incur no adjustment costs but that shocks are negligible. Given our identifying assumptions, we find that rigidity is due to adjustment costs and not to the shock process. We further find that these costs reduce the value of the firm as much as 5%. Finally, small fixed costs of adjustment have a large impact on entry and exit job flows.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 3091.

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Length: 23 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp3091
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  1. Russell W. 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.
  2. 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).
  3. 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.
  4. Lee, Bong-Soo & Ingram, Beth Fisher, 1991. "Simulation estimation of time-series models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 47(2-3), pages 197-205, February.
  5. 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.
  6. José Varejão & Pedro Portugal, 2004. "Matching Workers to Jobs in the Fast Lane: the Operation of Fixed-term Contracts," Working Papers w200410, Banco de Portugal, Economics and Research Department.
  7. Olympia Bover & Pilar García-Perea & Pedro Portugal, 2000. "Labour market outliers: Lessons from Portugal and Spain," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 15(31), pages 379-428, October.
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