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On the Size Distribution of Employment and Establishments

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  • Jonathan S. Leonard

Abstract

Recent arguments that employment growth occurs disproportionately at small establishments are fundamentally misleading because they confuse regression to the mean with structural shifts in the size distribution of establishments and with an aging effect within cohorts. The net growth usually observed in aggregate studies hides the gross flows; 13 percent of the jobs in existence in 1974 had disappeared by 1980, while 18 percent of the 1980 jobs had not existed six years previously. The variation observed here in labor demand over time within individual establishments may help to explain unemployment.

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  • Jonathan S. Leonard, 1986. "On the Size Distribution of Employment and Establishments," NBER Working Papers 1951, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:1951
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Meller, Patricio & Marfan, Manuel, 1981. "Small and Large Industry: Employment Generation, Linkages, and Key Sectors," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 29(2), pages 263-274, January.
    2. Leonard, Jonathan S, 1984. "The Impact of Affirmative Action on Employment," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 2(4), pages 439-463, October.
    3. Lilien, David M, 1980. "The Cyclical Pattern of Temporary Layoffs in United States Manufacturing," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 62(1), pages 24-31, February.
    4. Hall, Robert E, 1982. "The Importance of Lifetime Jobs in the U.S. Economy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(4), pages 716-724, September.
    5. Caves, Richard E & Khalilzadeh-Shirazi, J & Porter, M E, 1975. "Scale Economies in Statistical Analyses of Market Power," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 57(2), pages 133-140, May.
    6. Akerlof, George A & Main, Brian G M, 1981. "An Experience-Weighted Measure of Employment and Unemployment Durations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(5), pages 1003-1011, December.
    7. Abraham, Katharine G, 1986. "Structural/Frictional vs. Deficient Demand Unemployment: Reply," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(1), pages 273-276, March.
    8. Abraham, Katharine G, 1983. "Structural-Frictional vs. Deficient Demand Unemployment: Some New Evidence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(4), pages 708-724, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Johansson, Edvard, 2000. " Self-Employment and Liquidity Constraints: Evidence from Finland," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 102(1), pages 123-134, March.
    2. Meng-Wen Tsou & Jin-Tan Liu & James Hammitt, 2002. "Worker turnover and job reallocation in Taiwanese manufacturing," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 34(4), pages 401-411.
    3. Konings, Jozef & Lehmann, Hartmut & Schaffer, Mark E., 1996. "Job creation and job destruction in a transition economy: Ownership, firm size, and gross job flows in Polish manufacturing 1988-1991," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(3), pages 299-317, October.
    4. Contini, Bruno & Revelli, Riccardo, 1997. "Gross flows vs. net flows in the labor market: What is there to be learned?," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 4(3), pages 245-263, September.

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