Improper Churn: Social Costs and Macroeconomic Consequences
Posted: 23 Dec 1998
Date Written: July 1998
This paper assembles elements that are essential in forming an integral picture of the way a "churning" economy functions and of the disruptions caused by transactional difficulties in labor and financial markets. We couch our analysis in a stochastic equilibrium model anchored with U.S. evidence on gross factor flows and on rents in worker and firm income. We develop a social accounting framework to measure the costs of transactional impediments. We calculate the average social loss associated with structural unemployment and low productivity--due to technological "sclerosis" and a "scrambling" of productivity rankings in entry and exit decisions. We also estimate the loss from a recession. An additional forty percent to the traditional unemployment cost is due to reduced productivity and is determined by the recession's cumulative effect on the economy's churn rate. Although a recessionary shock increases the economy's "turbulence" at impact, semi-structural VAR evidence from U.S. manufacturing indicates that, cumulatively, it results in a "chill"-- which is costly in an economy that suffers from sclerosis.
JEL Classification: E24, E44, J41, J64
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