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Severance Payments and Firm-specific Human Capital

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  • Jens Suedekum

    ()
    (University of Goettingen, Germany)

  • Peter Ruehmann

    (University of Goettingen, Germany)

Abstract

What effect does employment protection through severance payments have on the behaviour of employed workers? We analyse this issue within a stochastic two-period framework where workers decide on human capital investments and find two competing effects: severance payments imply higher job security that fosters human capital formation. At the same time, a lay-off is perceived by the workers to be a weaker penalty if severance payments are provided. This incentive lowers their optimal amount of firm-specific investments. Which effect prevails on balance depends on the distribution of investment returns among firm and workers. For strong positive reactions, employment protection is also in the interests of the firm. Copyright Fondazione Giacomo Brodolini and Blackwell Publishing Ltd 2003.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by CEIS in its journal LABOUR.

Volume (Year): 17 (2003)
Issue (Month): 1 (03)
Pages: 47-62

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Handle: RePEc:bla:labour:v:17:y:2003:i:1:p:47-62

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References

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  1. Daron Acemoglu & Jorn-Steffen Pischke, 2002. "Minimum wages and on-the-job training," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 20084, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  2. Zylberberg, Andre & Cahuc, Pierre, 1999. "Redundancy Payments, Incomplete Labor Contracts, Unemployment and Welfare," IZA Discussion Papers 96, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Ichino, Andrea & Riphahn, Regina T., 2001. "The Effect of Employment Protection on Worker Effort: A Comparison of Absenteeism During and After Probation," IZA Discussion Papers 385, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. John T. Addison & Paulino Teixeira, 2003. "The Economics of Employment Protection," Journal of Labor Research, Transaction Publishers, vol. 24(1), pages 85-129, January.
  5. Alvarez, Fernando & Veracierto, Marcelo, 2001. "Severance payments in an economy with frictions," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(3), pages 477-498, June.
  6. Levine, David I, 1991. "Just-Cause Employment Policies in the Presence of Worker Adverse Selection," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 9(3), pages 294-305, July.
  7. Kuhn, Peter, 1992. "Mandatory Notice," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 10(2), pages 117-37, April.
  8. Bentolila, Samuel & Bertola, Giuseppe, 1990. "Firing Costs and Labour Demand: How Bad Is Eurosclerosis?," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 57(3), pages 381-402, July.
  9. Lazear, Edward P, 1990. "Job Security Provisions and Employment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 105(3), pages 699-726, August.
  10. Gary S. Becker, 1962. "Investment in Human Capital: A Theoretical Analysis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 70, pages 9.
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Cited by:
  1. Andrea Ricci & Robert Waldmann, 2011. "Job security and training: the case of Pareto improving firing taxes," Quaderni del Dipartimento di Economia, Finanza e Statistica 91/2011, Università di Perugia, Dipartimento Economia, Finanza e Statistica.
  2. Sascha Wolff, 2006. "Migration und ihre Determinanten im ost-westdeutschen Kontext nach der Wiedervereinigung: Ein Literaturüberblick," Departmental Discussion Papers 130, University of Goettingen, Department of Economics.
  3. Christian Grund, 2004. "Severance Payments for Dismissed Employees Severance Payments for Dismissed Employees in Germany," Bonn Econ Discussion Papers bgse4_2004, University of Bonn, Germany.
  4. Deffains, Bruno & Gabuthy, Yannick & Lambert, Eve-Angéline, 2010. "Labour disputes, investment decisions and the judiciary," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 424-433, April.
  5. Salvatore Barbaro & Jens Südekum, 2004. "Reforming a complicated income tax system: The political economics perspective," Departmental Discussion Papers 120, University of Goettingen, Department of Economics.
  6. Andrea Ricci & Robert J Waldmann, 2011. "Firm Financed Training and pareto Improving Firing taxes," CEIS Research Paper 197, Tor Vergata University, CEIS, revised 20 Jun 2011.
  7. Corinna Ahlfeld, 2009. "The scapegoat of heterogeneity - How fragmentation influences political decisionmaking," Departmental Discussion Papers 143, University of Goettingen, Department of Economics.
  8. Laszlo Goerke & Markus Pannenberg, 2005. "Berufliche Weiterbildung "on-the-job" und Auflösung von Beschäftigungsverhältnissen," Working Papers of the Research Group Heterogenous Labor 04-22, Research Group Heterogeneous Labor, University of Konstanz/ZEW Mannheim.
  9. Michele Belot & Jan Boone & Jan Van Ours, 2007. "Welfare-Improving Employment Protection," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 74(295), pages 381-396, 08.
  10. Renate Ohr, 2009. "European Monetary Union at Ten: Had the German Maastricht Critics Been Wrong?," Departmental Discussion Papers 141, University of Goettingen, Department of Economics.
  11. Salvatore Barbaro, 2003. "The Combined Effect of Taxation and Subsidization on Human Capital Investment," Departmental Discussion Papers 116, University of Goettingen, Department of Economics.
  12. Bruno Deffains & Yannick Gabuthy & Eve-Angéline Lambert, 2007. "Labor Conflicts and Inefficiency of Relationship-Specific Investments: What is the Judge's Role?," Working Papers of BETA 2007-04, Bureau d'Economie Théorique et Appliquée, UDS, Strasbourg.
  13. Christian Grund, 2006. "Severance payments for dismissed employees in Germany," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 22(1), pages 49-71, July.
  14. Thies Büttner & Robert Schwager, 2003. "Regionale Verteilungseffekte der Hochschulfinanzierung und ihre Konsequenzen," Departmental Discussion Papers 119, University of Goettingen, Department of Economics.
  15. Petra Enß & Robert Schwager, 2006. "Kommunaler Finanzausgleich und Gewerbesteuerhebesätze in Niedersachsen," Departmental Discussion Papers 127, University of Goettingen, Department of Economics.
  16. repec:iza:izadps:dp875 is not listed on IDEAS
  17. Salvatore Barbaro, 2002. "The Distributional Impact of Subsidies to Higher Education - Empirical Evidence from Germany," Departmental Discussion Papers 114, University of Goettingen, Department of Economics.

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