The Surprising Symmetry of Gross Job Flows
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.