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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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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
Date of revision:
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, 1999. "Contract-Theoretic Approaches to Wages and Displacement," University of California at San Diego, Economics Working Paper Series qt8h0480sk, Department of Economics, UC San Diego.
  2. Gadi Barlevy, 2002. "The Sullying Effect of Recessions," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 69(1), pages 65-96.
  3. Wouter J. den Haan & Garey Ramey & Joel Watson, 1999. "Liquidity Flows and Fragility of Business Enterprises," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1215, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  4. Louis S. Jacobson & Robert J. LaLonde & Daniel G. Sullivan, 1992. "Earnings losses of displaced workers," Working Paper Series, Macroeconomic Issues 92-28, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  5. 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.
  6. Robert H. Topel & Michael P. Ward, 1988. "Job Mobility and the Careers of Young Men," NBER Working Papers 2649, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. 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.
  8. Ramey, Garey & Watson, Joel, 1999. "Contractual Intermediaries," University of California at San Diego, Economics Working Paper Series qt49p1c23g, Department of Economics, UC San Diego.
  9. Wouter J. den Haan & Garey Ramey & Joel Watson, 1997. "Job Destruction and Propagation of Shocks," NBER Working Papers 6275, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Ricardo J. Caballero & Mohamad L. Hammour, 1991. "The Cleansing Effect of Recessions," NBER Working Papers 3922, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Antonio Cabrales & Hugo Hopenhayn, 1998. "Job dynamics, correlated shocks and wage profiles," Economics Working Papers 260, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  12. Gomes, Joao F & Greenwood, Jeremy & Rebelo, Sérgio, 1997. "Equilibrium Unemployment," CEPR Discussion Papers 1602, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  13. 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.
  14. Kletzer, Lori Gladstein, 1989. "Returns to Seniority after Permanent Job Loss," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(3), pages 536-43, June.
  15. Robert E. Hall, 1999. "Aggregate Job Destruction and Inventory Liquidation," NBER Working Papers 6912, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Ruhm, Christopher J, 1991. "Are Workers Permanently Scarred by Job Displacements?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(1), pages 319-24, March.
  17. Ljungqvist, Lars & Sargent, Thomas J., 1997. "The European Unemployment Dilemma," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 178, Stockholm School of Economics.
  18. repec:cdl:ucsdec:550851 is not listed on IDEAS
  19. Caballero, Ricardo J & Hammour, Mohamad L, 1996. "On the Timing and Efficiency of Creative Destruction," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 111(3), pages 805-52, August.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
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