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A Genral Model of Dynamic Labor Demand


  • Daniel S. Hamermesh


This study derives and estimates a dynamic model of factor demand that includes both fixed and quadratic variable costs of adjustment. Using quarterly data on the employment of mechanics at seven airlines, it finds that both types of adjustment costs characterize the dynamic constraints facing employers. Using monthly data covering production-worker employment in seven manufacturing plants, it shows that only fixed costs are important. The apparent diversity of the underlying costs of adjustment means it is difficult to draw useful inferences from macroeconometric estimates. It suggests the importance of examining broader arrays of microeconomic time series describing labor demand.

Suggested Citation

  • Daniel S. Hamermesh, 1990. "A Genral Model of Dynamic Labor Demand," NBER Working Papers 3356, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:3356
    Note: LS

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Michael Rothschild, 1971. "On the Cost of Adjustment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 85(4), pages 605-622.
    2. Hamermesh, Daniel S., 1990. "Aggregate employment dynamics and lumpy adjustment costs," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 93-129, January.
    3. Robert F. Engle & Ta-Chung Liu, 1972. "Effects of Aggregation Over Time on Dynamic Characteristics of an Econometric Model," NBER Chapters,in: Econometric Models of Cyclical Behavior, Volumes 1 and 2, pages 673-737 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Card, David, 1986. "Efficient Contracts with Costly Adjustment: Short-run Employment Determination for Airline Mechanics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(5), pages 1045-1071, December.
    5. P. K. Trivedi, 1985. "Distributed Lags, Aggregation and Compounding: Some Econometric Implications," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 52(1), pages 19-35.
    6. Russell Davidson & Richard Harris, 1981. "Non-Convexities in Continuous Time Investment Theory," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 48(2), pages 235-253.
    7. Stephen Nickell, 1984. "An Investigation of the Determinants of Manufacturing Employment in the United Kingdom," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 51(4), pages 529-557.
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    Cited by:

    1. Vivek Ghosal & Yang Ye, 2015. "Uncertainty and the employment dynamics of small and large businesses," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 44(3), pages 529-558, March.
    2. Nilsen, Oivind A. & Salvanes, Kjell G. & Schiantarelli, Fabio, 2007. "Employment changes, the structure of adjustment costs, and plant size," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 51(3), pages 577-598, April.
    3. Athanasios Lapatinas, 2015. "Multinational versus National Firms on Labour Adjustment Costs: A Structural Approach," Journal of Labor Research, Springer, vol. 36(4), pages 427-441, December.
    4. Hildreth, Andrew K. G. & Ohtake, Fumio, 1998. "Labor Demand and the Structure of Adjustment Costs in Japan," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 12(2), pages 131-150, June.
    5. Glosser, Stuart M. & Golden, Lonnie, 1997. "Average work hours as a leading economic variable in US manufacturing industries," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 13(2), pages 175-195, June.
    6. Goux, Dominique & Maurin, Eric & Pauchet, Marianne, 2001. "Fixed-term contracts and the dynamics of labour demand," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(3), pages 533-552, March.
    7. Oivind A. Nilsen & Joao M. Ejarque, 2007. "Identifying Adjustment Costs of Net and Gross Employment Changes," 2007 Meeting Papers 670, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    8. Gabor Korosi, 2002. "Labour Adjustment and Efficiency in Hungary," Budapest Working Papers on the Labour Market 0204, Institute of Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences.
    9. Chetan, Dave, 2004. "Are Investment Expectations Rational?," Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series 2004208e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
    10. Enrico Moretti, 2013. "Real Wage Inequality," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 5(1), pages 65-103, January.
    11. Øivind A. Nilsen & Arvid Raknerud & Marina Rybalka & Terje Skjerpen, 2005. "Lumpy Investments, Factor Adjustments and Productivity," Discussion Papers 441, Statistics Norway, Research Department.
    12. Cohen-Goldner, Sarit & Paserman, M. Daniele, 2011. "The dynamic impact of immigration on natives' labor market outcomes: Evidence from Israel," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 55(8), pages 1027-1045.
    13. Jung, Sven, 2013. "Employment Adjustment in German Firms," Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 79696, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    14. Einiö, Elias, 2015. "The Loss of Production Work: Identification of Demand Shifts Based on Local Soviet Trade Shocks," Working Papers 61, VATT Institute for Economic Research.
    15. Smolny, Werner, 1993. "Non-linear models of employment adjustment," Discussion Papers 8, University of Konstanz, Center for International Labor Economics (CILE).
    16. Roland Müller, 1998. "Fixe Lohnnebenkosten als Erklärungsursache für Arbeitslosigkeit: tarifpolitische Implikationen für ein "Bündnis für Arbeit"," Vierteljahrshefte zur Wirtschaftsforschung / Quarterly Journal of Economic Research, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research, vol. 67(4), pages 286-299.
    17. Lapatinas, Athanasios, 2009. "Labour adjustment costs: Estimation of a dynamic discrete choice model using panel data for Greek manufacturing firms," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(5), pages 521-533, October.
    18. Blatter, Marc & Muehlemann, Samuel & Schenker, Samuel, 2012. "The costs of hiring skilled workers," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 56(1), pages 20-35.
    19. Nilsen, Øivind & Salvanes, Kjell G. & Schiantarelli, Fabio, 2000. "Employment Changes, the Structure of Adjustment Costs, and Firms' Size," 10th International Conference on Panel Data, Berlin, July 5-6, 2002 A1-4, International Conferences on Panel Data.
    20. Kölling, Arnd, 1998. "Dynamische Arbeitsnachfrage und asymmetrisches Anpassungsverhalten in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland : eine Untersuchung mit Daten aus dem IAB-Betriebspanel (Dynamic labour demand and asymmetrical adj," Mitteilungen aus der Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany], vol. 31(4), pages 637-647.
    21. Austan Goolsbee & David B. Gross, 1997. "Estimating Adjustment Costs with Data on Heterogeneous Capital Goods," NBER Working Papers 6342, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    22. Jung, Sven, 2012. "Employment adjustment in German firms," Discussion Papers 80, Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Chair of Labour and Regional Economics.
    23. repec:iab:iabmit:v:31:i:4:p:637-647 is not listed on IDEAS
    24. Gorter, Cees & Hassink, Wolter H. J. & Russo, Giovanni, 2003. "The structure of hiring and labour market tightness," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 80(1), pages 99-103, July.
    25. H. Youn Kim & Junsoo Lee, 2001. "Quasi-fixed inputs and long-run equilibrium in production: a cointegration analysis," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 16(1), pages 41-57.

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