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Labor productivity: structural change and cyclical dynamics

  • Baily, Martin Neil

    (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Faculteit der Economische Wetenschappen en Econometrie (Free University Amsterdam, Faculty of Economics Sciences, Business Administration and Economitrics)

  • Bartelsman, Eric J.
  • Haltiwanger, John

A longstanding puzzle of empirical economics is that average labor productivity de­clines during recessions and increases during booms. This paper provides a framework to assess the empirical importance of competing hypotheses for explaining the observed pro­cyclicality. For each competing hypothesis we derive the implications for cyclical produc­tivity conditional on expectations of future demand and supply conditions. The novelty of the paper is that we exploit the tremendous heterogeneity in long-run structural changes across individual plants to identify the short-run sources of procyclical productivity.

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File URL: http://degree.ubvu.vu.nl/repec/vua/wpaper/pdf/19950050.pdf
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Paper provided by VU University Amsterdam, Faculty of Economics, Business Administration and Econometrics in its series Serie Research Memoranda with number 0050.

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Date of creation: 1995
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Handle: RePEc:vua:wpaper:1995-50
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.feweb.vu.nl
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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. 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.
  3. Bean, Charles R., 1990. "Endogenous growth and the procyclical behaviour of productivity," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 34(2-3), pages 355-363, May.
  4. Hamermesh, Daniel S. & Pfann, Gerard Antonie, 1996. "Adjustment Costs in Factor Demand," CEPR Discussion Papers 1371, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. repec:att:wimass:9116 is not listed on IDEAS
  6. Hall, Robert E, 1988. "The Relation between Price and Marginal Cost in U.S. Industry," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(5), pages 921-47, October.
  7. Burnside, Craig & Eichenbaum, Martin & Rebelo, Sergio, 1993. "Labor Hoarding and the Business Cycle," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(2), pages 245-73, April.
  8. Bernanke, Ben S & Parkinson, Martin L, 1991. "Procyclical Labor Productivity and Competing Theories of the Business Cycle: Some Evidence from Interwar U.S. Manufacturing Industries," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(3), pages 439-59, June.
  9. Saint-Paul, Gilles, 1992. "Productivity Growth and the Structure of the Business Cycle," CEPR Discussion Papers 709, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. Fay, Jon A & Medoff, James L, 1985. "Labor and Output over the Business Cycle: Some Direct Evidence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(4), pages 638-55, September.
  11. Sargent, Thomas J, 1978. "Estimation of Dynamic Labor Demand Schedules under Rational Expectations," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(6), pages 1009-44, December.
  12. Walter Y. Oi, 1962. "Labor as a Quasi-Fixed Factor," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 70, pages 538.
  13. Bentolila, Samuel & Bertola, Giuseppe, 1990. "Firing Costs and Labour Demand: How Bad Is Eurosclerosis?," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 57(3), pages 381-402, July.
  14. Aizcorbe, Ana M, 1992. "Procyclical Labour Productivity, Increasing Returns to Labour and Labour Hoarding in Car Assembly Plant Employment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 102(413), pages 860-73, July.
  15. Katharine G. Abraham & John C. Haltiwanger, 1995. "Real Wages and the Business Cycle," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 33(3), pages 1215-1264, September.
  16. Shea, John, 1993. "Do Supply Curves Slope Up?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 108(1), pages 1-32, February.
  17. 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.
  18. Bils, Mark, 1987. "The Cyclical Behavior of Marginal Cost and Price," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(5), pages 838-55, December.
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