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Why Do Firms Offer 'Employment Protection'?

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  • CHRISTOPHER A. PISSARIDES

Abstract

This paper derives optimal employment contracts when workers are risk-averse and there are employment and unemployment risks. Without income insurance, consumption rises during employment and falls during unemployment. Optimal employment contracts offer severance compensation and sometimes give notice before dismissal. Severance compensation smooths consumption during employment, and dismissal delays insure partially against the unemployment risk because of moral hazard. During the delay, consumption falls to give incentives to the worker to search for another job. No dismissal delays are optimal if exogenous unemployment compensation is sufficiently generous. Copyright (c) The London School of Economics and Political Science 2010.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by London School of Economics and Political Science in its journal Economica.

Volume (Year): 77 (2010)
Issue (Month): 308 (October)
Pages: 613-636

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Handle: RePEc:bla:econom:v:77:y:2010:i:308:p:613-636

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References

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  1. Rasmus Lentz & Torben Tranæs, 2002. "Job Search and Savings: Wealth Effects and Duration Dependence," CAM Working Papers 2004-11, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics. Centre for Applied Microeconometrics, revised Nov 2003.
  2. Giuseppe Bertola, 2004. "A Pure Theory of Job Security and Labour Income Risk," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 71(1), pages 43-61.
  3. Lars Ljungqvist & Thomas J. Sargent, 1996. "The European Unemployment Dilemma," EUI-RSCAS Working Papers 36, European University Institute (EUI), Robert Schuman Centre of Advanced Studies (RSCAS).
  4. Gary D. Hansen & Ayse Imrohoroglu, 1990. "The Role of Unemployment Insurance in an Economy with Liquidity Constraints and Moral Hazard," UCLA Economics Working Papers 583, UCLA Department of Economics.
  5. Hopenhayn, Hugo A & Nicolini, Juan Pablo, 1997. "Optimal Unemployment Insurance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(2), pages 412-38, April.
  6. Gruber, Jonathan, 1997. "The Consumption Smoothing Benefits of Unemployment Insurance," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(1), pages 192-205, March.
  7. Azariadis, Costas, 1975. "Implicit Contracts and Underemployment Equilibria," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 83(6), pages 1183-1202, December.
  8. Gilles Saint Paul, 1999. "The political economy of employment protection," Economics Working Papers 355, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  9. Steven Shavell & Laurence Weiss, 1978. "The Optimal Payment of Unemployment Insurance Benefits over Time," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 503, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  10. Nickell, Stephen J, 1982. "The Determinants of Equilibrium Unemployment in Britain," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 92(367), pages 555-75, September.
  11. Sampson, A A, 1978. "Optimal Redundancy Compensation," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 45(3), pages 447-52, October.
  12. James Costain, 1997. "Unemployment insurance with endogenous search intensity and precautionary saving," Economics Working Papers 243, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  13. Olivier Blanchard & Justin Wolfers, 1999. "The Role of Shocks and Institutions in the Rise of European Unemployment: The Aggregate Evidence," NBER Working Papers 7282, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Pissarides, Christopher A., 2001. "Employment protection," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(2), pages 131-159, May.
  15. Stephen Nickell, 1997. "Unemployment and Labor Market Rigidities: Europe versus North America," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(3), pages 55-74, Summer.
  16. Jovanovic, Boyan, 1979. "Job Matching and the Theory of Turnover," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(5), pages 972-90, October.
  17. Baily, Martin Neil, 1974. "Wages and Employment under Uncertain Demand," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 41(1), pages 37-50, January.
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Cited by:
  1. Dalen, H.P. van & Henkens, K., 2013. "Dilemmas Of Downsizing During the Great Recession: Crisis Strategies of European Employers," Discussion Paper 2013-026, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  2. John Martin & Stefano Scarpetta, 2012. "Setting It Right: Employment Protection, Labour Reallocation and Productivity," De Economist, Springer, vol. 160(2), pages 89-116, June.
  3. Conde Ruiz, José Ignacio. & Felgueroso, Florentino. & García Pérez, Jose Ignacio., 2011. "El fondo de capitalización a la austriaca: costes y beneficios de su implantación en España," Economic Reports 06-2011, FEDEA.
  4. Parsons, Donald O., 2014. "Job Displacement Insurance: An Overview," IZA Discussion Papers 8223, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Oikonomou, Rigas, 2013. "Optimal Unemployment Insurance with Private Insurance," MPRA Paper 55726, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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