Job Destruction and the Experiences of Displaced Workers
51 Pages Posted: 5 Aug 1999 Last revised: 24 Mar 2022
Date Written: July 1999
This paper evaluates a class of endogenous job destruction models based on how well they explain the observed experiences of displaced workers. We show that pure reallocation models in which relationship-specific productivity drifts downward over time are difficult to reconcile with the evidence on postdisplacement wages and displacement rates. Pure reallocation models with upward drift can explain the evidence, but implausibly large and persistent negative productivity shocks are required to generate displacements. Combining upward drift with outside benefits or moral hazard as additional motives for displacement makes it possible to explain the evidence with much smaller shocks. Propagation of aggregate shocks, welfare implications of displacement, upgrade of relationships in lieu of displacement, and learning effects are also discussed.
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