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The Cost of Labor Adjustment: Inferences from the Gap

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  • Russell W. Cooper
  • Jonathan Willis

Abstract

We study labor adjustment costs. We specify a dynamic optimization problem at the plant-level, allowing for both convex and non-convex adjustment costs. We estimate the parameters of the adjustment process using an indirect inference procedure in which simulated moments are matched with data moments. For this study we use estimates of reduced-form adjustment functions obtained by the gap methodology' reported in Caballero-Engel as data moments. Contrary to evidence at the micro level in support of non-convex adjustment costs, our findings indicate that piecewise quadratic adjustment costs are sufficient to match these aggregate moments.

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  • Russell W. Cooper & Jonathan Willis, 2003. "The Cost of Labor Adjustment: Inferences from the Gap," NBER Working Papers 10006, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:10006
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Cooper, Russell & Haltiwanger, John & Willis, Jonathan L., 2015. "Dynamics of labor demand: Evidence from plant-level observations and aggregate implications," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(1), pages 37-50.
    2. Rust, John, 1987. "Optimal Replacement of GMC Bus Engines: An Empirical Model of Harold Zurcher," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(5), pages 999-1033, September.
    3. Ricardo J. Caballero & Eduardo M. R. A. Engel, 1993. "Microeconomic Adjustment Hazards and Aggregate Dynamics," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 108(2), pages 359-383.
    4. Gerard A. Pfann & Franz C. Palm, 1993. "Asymmetric Adjustment Costs in Non-linear Labour Demand Models for the Netherlands and U.K. Manufacturing Sectors," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 60(2), pages 397-412.
    5. Contreras, Juan, 2006. "An Empirical Model of Factor Adjustment Dynamics," MPRA Paper 9797, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Russell W. Cooper & Jonathan L. Willis, 2001. "The economics of labor adjustment : mind the gap," Research Working Paper RWP 01-06, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
    7. Daniel S. Hamermesh & Gerard A. Pfann, 1996. "Adjustment Costs in Factor Demand," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 34(3), pages 1264-1292, September.
    8. 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.
    9. 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.
    10. Jerome Adda & Russell Cooper, 2000. "Balladurette and Juppette: A Discrete Analysis of Scrapping Subsidies," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(4), pages 778-806, August.
    11. Sargent, Thomas J, 1978. "Estimation of Dynamic Labor Demand Schedules under Rational Expectations," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(6), pages 1009-1044, December.
    12. 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

    JEL classification:

    • J23 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Demand
    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity

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