Improper Churn: Social Costs and Macroeconomic Consequences
NBER Working Paper No. 6717
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 US 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 US manufacturing indicates that, cumulatively, it results in a chill' -- which is costly in an economy that suffers from sclerosis.