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Author:Willis, Jonathan L. 

Working Paper
New exporter dynamics

Models in which heterogeneous plants face sunk export entry costs are standard tools in the international trade literature. How well do these models account for the observed dynamics of new exporters? We document that new exporters initially export small amounts and ? conditional on continuing in the export market ? grow gradually over several years. New exporters are most likely to exit the export market in their first few years. We construct a dynamic discrete choice model of exporting and find that the standard model cannot replicate the behavior of new exporters: New exporters grow too ...
Research Working Paper , Paper RWP 14-10

Working Paper
The cost of labor adjustment : inferences from the gap

We study labor adjustment costs. We specify a dynamic optimization problem at the plant-level, allowing for both convex and non-convex adjustment costs. We estimate the parameters of the adjustment process using an indirect inference procedure in which simulated moments are matched with data moments. For this study we use estimates of reduced form adjustment functions obtained by the "gap methodology" reported in Caballero and Engel (1993). Contrary to evidence at the micro level in support of non-convex adjustment costs, our preliminary findings indicate that piecewise quadratic adjustment ...
Research Working Paper , Paper RWP 02-11

Working Paper
Mind the (approximation) gap: a robustness analysis

This note continues the discussion of the results reported by Ricardo Caballero and Eduardo Engel (1993), hereafter CE, and Ricardo Caballero, Eduardo Engel, and John Haltiwanger (1997), hereafter CEH, by responding to the results reported in Christian Bayer (2008). Russell Cooper and Jonathan Willis (2004), hereafter CW, find that the aggregate nonlinearities reported in CE and CEH may be the consequence of mismeasurement of the employment gap rather than nonlinearities in plant-level adjustment. Bayer reassesses this finding in the context of the CE model in the case where static employment ...
Research Working Paper , Paper RWP 09-02

Journal Article
What happened to the gains from strong productivity growth?

Over the past decade, the United States economy has experienced strong economic growth due in large part to a resurgence in productivity growth. Little attention has been paid, however, to examining how the gains from this growth have been distributed. In the past few years, observers have noted that the share of income paid to labor has been falling while corporate profits have surged. Also, observers have pointed out that income inequality appears to have widened, with little increase in real wages for low-income workers while executive pay has skyrocketed. Consequently, there has been a ...
Economic Review , Volume 92 , Issue Q I , Pages 5-23

Journal Article
What is Behind the Recent Increase in Labor Force Participation?

Didem Tzemen and Jonathan L. Willis find that the recent increase in labor force participation is due not to more workers entering the labor force, but to fewer workers exiting it.
Macro Bulletin

Journal Article
Coordination of expectations in the recent crisis: private actions and policy responses

Some of the events of the recent financial crisis have made clear the importance of expectations in an economy. The economic choices individuals make are often based on their expectations of what other people will do?in what economists call a ?coordination game.? In such situations, changes in the beliefs of what others may do can affect the actions of individuals. A key element in such situations is that, as the collective beliefs change and individuals respond to these altered expectations, the outcome in the marketplace can change. In the recent crisis, the coordination of expectations ...
Economic Review , Volume 95 , Issue Q I , Pages 5-39

Working Paper
The economics of labor adjustment : mind the gap

We study inferences about the dynamics of labor adjustment obtained by the "gap methodology" of Caballero and Engel [1993] and Caballero, Engel and Haltiwanger [1997]. In that approach, the policy function for employment growth is assumed to depend on an unobservable gap between the target and current levels of employment. Using time series observations, these studies reject the partial adjustment model and find that aggregate employment dynamics depend on the cross-sectional distribution of employment gaps. Thus, nonlinear adjustment at the plant level appears to have aggregate ...
Research Working Paper , Paper RWP 03-05

Working Paper
The economics of labor adjustment : mind the gap

We study the inferences about labor adjustment costs obtained by the "gap methodology" of Caballero and Engel [1993] and Caballero, Engel and Haltiwanger [1997]. In that approach, the policy function of a manufacturing plant is assumed to depend on the gap between a target and the current level of employment. Using time series observations, these studies reject the quadratic cost of adjustment model and find that aggregate employment dynamics depend on the cross sectional distribution of employment gaps. We argue that these conclusions may not be justified. Instead these findings may ...
Research Working Paper , Paper RWP 01-06

Journal Article
Implications of structural changes in the U.S. economy for pricing behavior and inflation dynamics

Some key features of the behavior of inflation in the United States appear to have changed in the past 20 years, with potentially important implications for forecasters and policymakers. Recent studies have provided evidence of a decline in both the variability and persistence of inflation. ; Such shifts in the behavior or dynamics of inflation would necessitate changes in the economic relationships used by policymakers and economists to assess current conditions, forecast key economic indicators, and determine the implications of policy changes for future economic activity. ; Willis examines ...
Economic Review , Volume 88 , Issue Q I , Pages 5-27

Journal Article
Stuck in Part-Time Employment

Although the share of workers employed part time for economic reasons has declined, it is unlikely to return to its pre-recession level in the near future.
Macro Bulletin

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