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Job Destruction and the Experiences of Displaced Workers

  • Wouter J. den Haan
  • Garey Ramey
  • Joel Watson

This paper evaluates a class of endogenous job destruction models based on how well they explain the observed experiences of displaced workers. We show that pure reallocation models in which relationship-specific productivity drifts downward over time are difficult to reconcile with the evidence on postdisplacement wages and displacement rates. Pure reallocation models with upward drift can explain the evidence, but implausibly large and persistent negative productivity shocks are required to generate displacements. Combining upward drift with outside benefits or moral hazard as additional motives for displacement makes it possible to explain the evidence with much smaller shocks. Propagation of aggregate shocks, welfare implications of displacement, upgrade of relationships in lieu of displacement, and learning effects are also discussed.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w7218.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 7218.

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Date of creation: Jul 1999
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Publication status: published as den Haan, Wouter J. & Ramey, Garey & Watson, Joel, 2000. "Job destruction and the experiences of displaced workers," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 52(1), pages 87-128, June.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:7218
Note: EFG
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  1. den Haan, Wouter J. & Ramey, Garey & Watson, Joel, 2000. "Liquidity Flows and Fragility of Business Enterprises," University of California at San Diego, Economics Working Paper Series qt2kc182ts, Department of Economics, UC San Diego.
  2. Mortensen, Dale T & Pissarides, Christopher A, 1994. "Job Creation and Job Destruction in the Theory of Unemployment," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 61(3), pages 397-415, July.
  3. Lars Ljungqvist & Thomas J. Sargent, 1996. "The European Unemployment Dilemma," EUI-RSCAS Working Papers 36, European University Institute (EUI), Robert Schuman Centre of Advanced Studies (RSCAS).
  4. Garey Ramey & Joel Watson, 2002. "Contractual Intermediaries," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 18(2), pages 362-384, October.
  5. Ricardo J. Caballero & Mohamad L. Hammour, 1994. "On the Timing and Efficiency of Creative Destruction," NBER Working Papers 4768, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Gomes, Joao F & Greenwood, Jeremy & Rebelo, Sérgio, 1997. "Equilibrium Unemployment," CEPR Discussion Papers 1602, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Michael J. Pries, 2004. "Persistence of Employment Fluctuations: A Model of Recurring Job Loss," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 71(1), pages 193-215.
  8. William J. Carrington, 1993. "Wage Losses for Displaced Workers: Is It Really the Firm That Matters?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 28(3), pages 435-462.
  9. Wouter J. den Haan & Garey Ramey & Joel Watson, 1999. "Contract-Theoretic Approaches to Wages and Displacement," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1216, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  10. Robert E. Hall, 1999. "Aggregate Job Destruction and Inventory Liquidation," NBER Working Papers 6912, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Stevens, Ann Huff, 1997. "Persistent Effects of Job Displacement: The Importance of Multiple Job Losses," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(1), pages 165-88, January.
  12. Garey Ramey & Wouter J. den Haan & Joel Watson, 2000. "Job Destruction and Propagation of Shocks," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(3), pages 482-498, June.
  13. Harold L. Cole & Richard Rogerson, 1996. "Can the Mortonson-Pissarides matching model match the business cycle facts?," Staff Report 224, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  14. Louis S. Jacobson & Robert J. LaLonde & Daniel Sullivan, 1992. "Earnings Losses of Displaced Workers," Upjohn Working Papers and Journal Articles 92-11, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
  15. Topel, Robert, 1993. "What Have We Learned from Empirical Studies of Unemployment and Turnover?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(2), pages 110-15, May.
  16. Topel, Robert H & Ward, Michael P, 1992. "Job Mobility and the Careers of Young Men," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(2), pages 439-79, May.
  17. Antonio Cabrales & Hugo Hopenhayn, 1998. "Job dynamics, correlated shocks and wage profiles," Economics Working Papers 260, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  18. Ruhm, Christopher J, 1991. "Are Workers Permanently Scarred by Job Displacements?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(1), pages 319-24, March.
  19. repec:cdl:ucsdec:550851 is not listed on IDEAS
  20. Caballero, Ricardo J & Hammour, Mohamad L, 1994. "The Cleansing Effect of Recessions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(5), pages 1350-68, December.
  21. Gadi Barlevy, 2002. "The Sullying Effect of Recessions," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 69(1), pages 65-96.
  22. 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.
  23. Kletzer, Lori Gladstein, 1989. "Returns to Seniority after Permanent Job Loss," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(3), pages 536-43, June.
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