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On the Ills of Adjustment

  • Ricardo J. Caballero
  • Mohamad L. Hammour

We analyze market impediments to the process of structural adjustment. We focus on incomplete-contract inefficiencies in the transactions between workers and firms that render the quasi-rents from 'specific' investment appropriable. During adjustment, the result is a depressed rate of creation of the new productive structure and excessive destruction of the old one, leading to an employment crisis. Moreover, appropriability weakens the incentives for extensive restructuring and results in a 'sclerotic' productive structure. An adequate managed- adjustment program combines vigorous creation incentives in the expanding sector with measures to support employment in the contracting one. In contrast, the common prescription of gradualism does not act as an effective 'synchronizer' of creation and destruction, for it can only reduce destruction by also reducing an already depressed creation rate.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 5198.

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Date of creation: Jul 1995
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Publication status: published as Journal of Development Economics, vol. 51, no. 1, October 1996 pp. 161
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:5198
Note: EFG
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  2. Horton, Susan & Kanbur, Ravi & Mazumdar, Dipak, 1991. "Labor markets in an era of adjustment : an overview," Policy Research Working Paper Series 694, The World Bank.
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  17. Liu, Lili, 1993. "Entry-exit, learning, and productivity change Evidence from Chile," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(2), pages 217-242, December.
  18. Philippe Aghion & Olivier Jean Blanchard, 1994. "On the Speed of Transition Central Europe," NBER Working Papers 4736, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Lopez, Ramon E. & Riveros, Luis A., 1989. "Macroeconomic adjustment and the labor market in four Latin American countries," Policy Research Working Paper Series 335, The World Bank.
  20. Edwards, Sebastian & van Wijnbergen, Sweder, 1989. "Disequilibrium and structural adjustment," Handbook of Development Economics, in: Hollis Chenery & T.N. Srinivasan (ed.), Handbook of Development Economics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 28, pages 1481-1533 Elsevier.
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