Creative destruction and aggregate productivity growth
Productivity growth is the engine of economic growth and is responsible for rising standards of living. But all firms do not partake equally in the nation's productivity growth. Rather, according to economist Joseph Schumpeter's theory, firms undergo a process of "creative destruction": New firms that adapt to new knowledge cause the decline and eventual demise of incumbent firms. In "Creative Destruction and Aggregate Productivity Growth," Shigeru Fujita surveys recent studies that examine the role of creative destruction in aggregate productivity growth.
Dynamics of worker flows and vacancies: evidence from the sign restriction approach
This paper establishes robust dynamic features of the worker reallocation process in the U.S. labor market. The author uses structural VARs with sign restrictions, which take the form of restricting the short-run negative relationship between vacancies and unemployment (i.e., Beveridge curve). Despite the "weakness" of these restrictions, they reveal a clear, unambiguous pattern that when unemployment increases and vacancies drop, (i) both the separation rate and gross separations rise quickly and remain persistently high, (ii) the job finding rate and vacancies drop in a hump-shaped ...
Elasticities of Labor Supply and Labor Force Participation Flows
REVISED MARCH 2019 Using a representative-household search and matching model with endogenous labor force participation, we study the interactions between extensive-margin labor supply elasticities and the cyclicality of labor force participation flows. Our model successfully replicates salient business-cycle features of all transition rates between three labor market states, the unemployment rate, and the labor force participation rate, while using values of elasticities consistent with micro evidence. Our results underscore the importance of the procyclical opportunity cost of employment, ...
Declining labor turnover and turbulence
Superseded by Working Paper 15-29 The purpose of this paper is to identify possible sources of the secular decline in the aggregate job separation rate over the last three decades. The author first shows that aging of the labor force alone cannot account for the entire decline. To explore other sources, he uses a simple labor matching model with two types of workers, experienced and inexperienced, where the former type faces a risk of skill obsolescence during unemployment. When the skill depreciation occurs, the worker is required to restart his career and thus suffers a drop in earnings. ...
Worker flows and job flows: a quantitative investigation
This paper studies the quantitative properties of a multiple-worker firm matching model with on-the-job search where heterogeneous firms operate decreasing-returns-to-scale production technology. We focus on the model's ability to replicate the business cycle features of job flows, worker flows between employment and unemployment, and job-to-job transitions. The calibrated model successfully replicates (i) countercyclical worker flows between employment and unemployment, (ii) procyclical job-to-job transitions, and (iii) opposite movements of job creation and destruction rates over the ...
Recall and Unemployment
We document in the Survey of Income and Program Participation covering 1990- 2013 that a surprisingly large share of workers return to their previous employer after a jobless spell and experience very different unemployment and employment outcomes than job switchers. The probability of recall is much less procyclical and volatile than the probability of finding a new employer. We add to a quantitative, and otherwise canonical, search-and-matching model of the labor market a recall option, which can be activated freely following aggregate and job-specific productivity shocks. Recall and search ...
Declining labor turnover and turbulence
Superseded by 18-06. The purpose of this paper is to identify possible sources of the secular decline in the job separation rate over the past four decades. I use a simple labor matching model with two types of workers, experienced and inexperienced, where the former type faces a risk of skill loss during unemployment. When the skill loss occurs, the worker is required to restart his career and thus suffers a drop in his wage. I show that a higher risk of skill loss results in a lower separation rate. The key mechanism is that the experienced workers accept lower wages in exchange for keeping ...
Reassessing the Shimer facts
In a recent influential paper, Shimer uses CPS duration and gross flow data to draw two conclusions: (1) separation rates are nearly acyclic; and (2) separation rates contribute little to the variability of unemployment. In this paper the authors assert that Shimer's analysis is problematic, for two reasons: (1) cyclicality is not evaluated systematically; and (2) the measured contributions to unemployment variability do not actually decompose total unemployment variability. The authors address these problems by applying a standard statistical measure of business cycle comovement, and ...
Labor market anxiety and the downward trend in the job separation rate
Anecdotal evidence suggests that labor market conditions surrounding American workers had been worsening in recent decades, even before the severe recession in 2007-2009. However, studies by academic researchers have not found clear evidence that worker turnover has increased over time. In this article, Shigeru Fujita shows that there is a long-run downward trend in the separation rate into unemployment and examines several factors that help account for this long-run decline. He argues that the aging of the labor force has played an important role in the trend. He also explains, using an ...
The Cyclicality of Labor Force Participation Flows: The Role of Labor Supply Elasticities and Wage Rigidity
Using a representative-household search and matching model with endogenous labor force participation, we study the cyclicality of labor market transition rates between employment, unemployment, and nonparticipation. When interpreted through the lens of the model, the behavior of transition rates implies that the participation margin is strongly countercyclical: the household’s incentive to send more workers to the labor force falls in expansions. We identify two key channels through which the model delivers this result: (i) the procyclical values of non-market activities and (ii) wage ...