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The Cost of Labor Adjustment: Inferences from the Gap

  • Russell W. Cooper
  • Jonathan Willis

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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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 10006.

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Date of creation: Oct 2003
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Publication status: published as Cooper, Russell W. and Jonathan L. Willis. "The Cost of Labor Adjustment: Inferences from the Gap." Review of Economic Dynamics 12, 4 (October 2009): 632-647 .
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:10006
Note: EFG LS
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  1. Russell Cooper & John Haltiwanger & Laura Power, 1995. "Machine Replacement and the Business Cycle: Lumps and Bumps," NBER Working Papers 5260, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Ricardo J. Caballero & Eduardo M.R.A. Engel & John Haltiwanger, 1995. "Aggregate Employment Dynamics: Building From Microeconomic Evidence," NBER Working Papers 5042, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. 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.
  4. PFANN, Gerard A. & PALM, Franz C., . "Asymmetric adjustment costs in non-linear labour demand models for the Netherlands and U.K. manufacturing sectors," CORE Discussion Papers RP 1044, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  5. Russell 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Jerome Adda & Russell Cooper, 1997. "Balladurette and Juppette: A Discrete Analysis of Scrapping Subsidies," Papers 0076, Boston University - Industry Studies Programme.
  8. Hamermesh, Daniel S. & Pfann, Gerard Antonie, 1996. "Adjustment Costs in Factor Demand," CEPR Discussion Papers 1371, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. Hamermesh, Daniel S, 1989. "Labor Demand and the Structure of Adjustment Costs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(4), pages 674-89, September.
  10. Contreras, Juan, 2006. "An Empirical Model of Factor Adjustment Dynamics," MPRA Paper 9797, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  11. Thomas J. Sargent, 1978. "Estimation of dynamic labor demand schedules under rational expectations," Staff Report 27, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  12. Caballero, Ricardo J & Engel, Eduardo M R A, 1993. "Microeconomic Adjustment Hazards and Aggregate Dynamics," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 108(2), pages 359-83, May.
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