NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

The Surprising Symmetry of Gross Job Flows

Christopher L. Foote

NBER Working Paper No. 6226
Issued in October 1997
NBER Program(s):   LS   ME

A large literature attempts to explain the asymmetric behavior of job destruction and job creation over the business cycle. This paper contends that much of this asymmetry is spurious. Analyzing gross flows in relation to the net flow virtually eliminates cyclical asymmetry in annual data and substantially reduces it in quarterly data. To the extent that gross flows are symmetric, there is a fundamental identification problem in moving between gross flows and the net flow that is reminiscent of the earlier empirical literature on sectoral shifts.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w6226

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