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The Costs of Hiring and Separations

  • John M. Abowd
  • Francis Kramarz

In this article, we estimate the costs of hiring, separation, and retirement of employees for a representative sample of French establishments in 1992. The estimates are computed using data from three sources: the Wage Structure Survey (ESS), the Workforce Movement Questionnaire (DMMO), and the Occupational Structure Survey (ESE). We show that the estimated costs are generally asymmetric (hiring is cheaper than terminations), increasing, and concave functions of the number of entries or exits (either retirements or terminations). There is a fixed component to each of these costs that is related to the structure of the firm's personnel department. Our estimates imply that firms should not adjust gradually to the desired level of employment.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w6110.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 6110.

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Date of creation: Jul 1997
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Publication status: published as Abowd, John M. & Kramarz, Francis, 2003. "The costs of hiring and separations," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(5), pages 499-530, October.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:6110
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  1. 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.
  2. Pfann, Gerald A. & Verspagen, Bart, 1989. "The structure of adjustment costs for labour in the Dutch manufacturing sector," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 29(4), pages 365-371.
  3. David Card & Francis Kramarz & Thomas Lemieux, 1995. "Changes in the Relative Structure of Wages and Employment: A Comparison of the United States, Canada, and France," Working Papers 734, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  4. 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.
  5. John M. Abowd & Francis Kramarz & David N. Margolis, 1994. "High Wage Workers and High Wage Firms," NBER Working Papers 4917, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. John M. Abowd & Patrick Corbel & Francis Kramarz, 1999. "The Entry And Exit Of Workers And The Growth Of Employment: An Analysis Of French Establishments," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 81(2), pages 170-187, May.
  7. Olivier Blanchard & Lawrence F. Katz, 1997. "What We Know and Do Not Know about the Natural Rate of Unemployment," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(1), pages 51-72, Winter.
  8. Steven J. Davis & John C. Haltiwanger & Scott Schuh, 1998. "Job Creation and Destruction," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262540932, June.
  9. Bentolila, S. & Saint-Paul, G., 1995. "A model of labour demand with linear adjustment costs," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 2(1), pages 105-105, March.
  10. Ricardo J. Caballero & Eduardo Engel & John Haltiwanger, 1996. "Aggregate Employment Dynamics: Building from Microeconomic Evidence," Documentos de Trabajo 6, Centro de Economía Aplicada, Universidad de Chile.
  11. Steve J. Davis & John Haltiwanger, 1991. "Gross Job Creation, Gross Job Destruction and Employment Reallocation," NBER Working Papers 3728, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Francis Kramarz & Emmanuel Delame, 1997. "Entreprises et formation continue," Économie et Prévision, Programme National Persée, vol. 127(1), pages 63-82.
  13. Abowd, John M & Zellner, Arnold, 1985. "Estimating Gross Labor-Force Flows," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 3(3), pages 254-83, June.
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