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An Empirical Model of Factor Adjustment Dynamics

  • Contreras, Juan

This paper investigates how firms dynamically adjust their use of capital, labor, energy, and materials when there are both smooth and lumpy adjustment possibilities and interrelation among adjustments. The Colombian Annual Census of Manufacturing provides evidence of these kinds of adjustment. The innovation of this paper lies in three areas: in considering the joint adjustment and interrelation of labor and capital at the establishment level; in describing the dynamic adjustment of all the production factors; and in a rich description of adjustment costs, which includes disruption of the production process and reallocation of internal resources, and fixed costs of installing capital and creating or discontinuing a job vacancy. The model also includes both a convex cost component, aimed at capturing smooth adjustments, and congestion effects, which means that it is more costly for firms to adjust capital and labor at the same time than it is to adjust them separately. Using a simulated method of moments, the study finds empirical support for the existence of disruption costs for capital and labor, the existence of convex costs for capital but not for labor, and the existence of congestion effects. An important implication of the model is that, in response to shocks, firms decide to adjust either capital or labor alone or both, depending on the initial capital to labor ratio and the magnitude of the shocks.

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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 9797.

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Date of creation: Nov 2006
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:9797
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  1. Chad Syverson, 2001. "Market Structure and Productivity: A Concrete Example," Working Papers 01-06, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  2. Robert E. Hall, 2004. "Measuring Factor Adjustment Costs," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 119(3), pages 899-927, August.
  3. Klette, T.J., 1992. "The Inconsistency of Common Scale Estimators when Output Prices are unobserved and Endogenous," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1586, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  4. Ricardo J. Caballero & Eduardo M.R.A. Engel, 1994. "Explaining Investment Dynamics in U.S. Manufacturing: A Generalized (S,s) Approach," NBER Working Papers 4887, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Shapiro, Matthew D, 1986. "The Dynamic Demand for Capital and Labor," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 101(3), pages 513-42, August.
  6. Polder, Michael & Verick, Sher, 2004. "Dynamics of Labour and Capital Adjustment – A Comparison of Germany and the Netherlands," IZA Discussion Papers 1212, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. Eslava, Marcela & Haltiwanger, John C. & Kugler, Adriana & Kugler, Maurice, 2005. "Factor Adjustments after Deregulation: Panel Evidence from Colombian Plants," IZA Discussion Papers 1751, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. 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.
  9. Ricardo J. Caballero & Eduardo M. R. A. Engel & John C. Haltiwanger, 1995. "Plant-Level Adjustment and Aggregate Investment Dynamics," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 26(2), pages 1-54.
  10. Hamermesh, Daniel S, 1989. "Labor Demand and the Structure of Adjustment Costs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(4), pages 674-89, September.
  11. Nadiri, M Ishaq & Rosen, Sherwin, 1969. "Interrelated Factor Demand Functions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 59(4), pages 457-71, Part I Se.
  12. Abel, Andrew B. & Eberly, Janice C., 1998. "The mix and scale of factors with irreversibility and fixed costs of investment," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 101-135, June.
  13. Russell Cooper & John Haltiwanger & Laura Power, 1995. "Machine Replacement and the Business Cycle: Lumps and Bumps," NBER Working Papers 5260, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Russell W. Cooper & John C. Haltiwanger, 2006. "On the Nature of Capital Adjustment Costs," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 73(3), pages 611-633.
  15. 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.
  16. Plutarchos Sakellaris, 2000. "Patterns of Plant Adjustment," Electronic Working Papers 00-001, University of Maryland, Department of Economics.
  17. Tauchen, George & Hussey, Robert, 1991. "Quadrature-Based Methods for Obtaining Approximate Solutions to Nonlinear Asset Pricing Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(2), pages 371-96, March.
  18. Nick Bloom, 2006. "The Impact of Uncertainty Shocks: Firm Level Estimation and a 9/11 Simulation," CEP Discussion Papers dp0718, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  19. Letterie, Wilko A. & Pfann, Gerard A. & Polder, J. Michael, 2004. "Factor adjustment spikes and interrelation: an empirical investigation," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 85(2), pages 145-150, November.
  20. Rust, John, 1987. "Optimal Replacement of GMC Bus Engines: An Empirical Model of Harold Zurcher," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(5), pages 999-1033, September.
  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.
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