NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
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Matthias Kehrig

Department of Economics
Duke University
237 Social Sciences, Box 90097
Durham, NC 27708
Tel: 919/660-1901

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NBER Program Affiliations: PR
NBER Affiliation: Faculty Research Fellow
Institutional Affiliation: Duke University

NBER Working Papers and Publications

June 2019Good Dispersion, Bad Dispersion
with Nicolas Vincent: w25923
Dispersion in marginal revenue products of inputs across plants is commonly thought to reflect misallocation, i.e., dispersion is "bad." We document that most dispersion occurs across plants within rather than between firms. In a model of multi-plant firms, we then show that dispersion can be "good": Eliminating frictions increases productivity dispersion and raises overall output. Based on this framework, we argue that in U.S. manufacturing, one-quarter of the total variance of revenue products reflects good dispersion. In contrast, we find that in emerging economies, almost all dispersion is bad and the gains from eliminating distortions are larger than previously thought.
November 2018The Micro-Level Anatomy of the Labor Share Decline
with Nicolas Vincent: w25275
The aggregate labor share in U.S. manufacturing declined from 62 percentage points (ppt) in 1967 to 41 ppt in 2012. The labor share of the typical U.S. manufacturing establishment, in contrast, rose by over 3 ppt during the same period. Using micro-level data, we document a number of striking facts: (1) there has been a dramatic reallocation of value added to "hyper- productive" (HP) low-labor share establishments, with much more limited reallocation of inputs; (2) HP establishments have only a temporarily lower labor share that rebounds after five to eight years to the level of their peers; (3) selection into HP status has become increasingly correlated with past size; (4) labor share dynamics are driven by revenue total factor labor productivity, not wages or capital intensity; (5) emplo...
September 2014Slow to Hire, Quick to Fire: Employment Dynamics with Asymmetric Responses to News
with Cosmin Ilut, Martin Schneider: w20473
Concave hiring rules imply that firms respond more to bad shocks than to good shocks. They provide a unified explanation for several seemingly unrelated facts about employment growth in macro and micro data. In particular, they generate countercyclical movement in both aggregate conditional “macro” volatility and cross-sectional “micro” volatility, as well as negative skewness in the cross-section and in the time series at different levels of aggregation. Concave establishment-level responses of employment growth to TFP shocks estimated from Census data induce significant skewness, movements in volatility and amplification of bad aggregate shocks.

Published: Cosmin Ilut & Matthias Kehrig & Martin Schneider, 2018. "Slow to Hire, Quick to Fire: Employment Dynamics with Asymmetric Responses to News," Journal of Political Economy, vol 126(5), pages 2011-2071.

 
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