Measuring Early-Stage Business Formation
New businesses play an important role in overall economic activity. They account for a sizable share of job creation, and they provide a key source of innovation that contributes to overall productivity growth.
Labor productivity: structural change and cyclical dynamics
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 ...
Employer-to-employer flows in the United States: estimates using linked employer-employee data
We use administrative data linking workers and firms to study employer-to-employer flows. After discussing how to identify such flows in quarterly data, we investigate their basic empirical patterns. We find that the pace of employer-to-employer flows is high, representing about 4 percent of employment and 30 percent of separations each quarter. The pace of employer-to-employer flows is highly procyclical, and varies systematically across worker, job and employer characteristics. Our findings regarding job tenure and earnings dynamics suggest that for those workers moving directly to new ...
Downsizing and productivity growth: myth or reality?
Declining Dynamism, Allocative Efficiency, and the Productivity Slowdown
A large literature documents declining measures of business dynamism including high-growth young firm activity and job reallocation. A distinct literature describes a slowdown in the pace of aggregate labor productivity growth. We relate these patterns by studying changes in productivity growth from the late 1990s to the mid 2000s using firm-level data. We find that diminished allocative efficiency gains can account for the productivity slowdown in a manner that interacts with the within-firm productivity growth distribution. The evidence suggests that the decline in dynamism is reason for ...
Euler-equation estimation for discrete choice models: a capital accumulation application
This paper studies capital adjustment at the establishment level. Our goal is to characterize capital adjustment costs, which are important for understanding both the dynamics of aggregate investment and the impact of various policies on capital accumulation. Our estimation strategy searches for parameters that minimize ex post errors in an Euler equation. This strategy is quite common in models for which adjustment occurs in each period. Here, we extend that logic to the estimation of parameters of dynamic optimization problems in which non-convexities lead to extended periods of investment ...
Hours and employment implications of search frictions: matching aggregate and establishment-level observations
This paper studies worker and job flows at the establishment and aggregate levels. The paper is built around a set of facts concerning the variability of unemployment and vacancies in the aggregate, the distribution of net employment growth and the comovement of hours and employment growth at the establishment level. A search model with frictions in hiring and firing is used as a framework to understand these observations. Notable features of this search model include non-convex costs of posting vacancies, establishment level profitability shocks and a contracting framework that determines ...
Limited countercyclical policies: an exploratory study
Dynamics of labor demand : evidence from plant-level observations and aggregate implications
This paper studies the dynamics of labor demand at the micro and aggregate level. The correlation of hours and employment growth is negative at the plant level and positive in aggregate time series. Further, hours and employment growth are about equally volatile at the plant level while hours growth is much less volatile than employment growth in the aggregate data. Given these differences, we specify and estimate the parameters of a plant-level dynamic optimization problem using simulated method of moments to match plant-level observations. Our findings indicate that non-convex adjustment ...
Gross job flows between plants and industries
A remarkable feature of the current U.S. economic expansion has been its ability to shrug off the adverse effects of financial crises and economic slowdowns around the world for nearly two years. Recently, however, foreign-sector developments have triggered a sizable shift in the sectoral composition of U.S. employment. By early 1999, employment growth in the goods-producing sector was still humming along. Historically, substantial shifts in labor demand between sectors have been correlated with the business cycle. But recent developments are unusual and highlight our incomplete ...