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Involuntary Layoffs in a Model with Asymmetric Information Concerning Worker Ability

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  • Laing, Derek

Abstract

This paper examines the contract between a risk-neutral firm and its risk-averse employees, assuming that worker ability is privately learned by the firm after a period of employment. Employers in an external spot labor market attempt to infer worker quality from the observable actions taken by the firm. The threat of spot market raids distorts the optimal contract. Layoffs may be involuntary and can exceed efficient levels. A seniority layoff rule may be included in the contract to avoid the adverse selection problems that arise if layoffs are conducted on the basis of ability. Copyright 1994 by The Review of Economic Studies Limited.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Wiley Blackwell in its journal Review of Economic Studies.

Volume (Year): 61 (1994)
Issue (Month): 2 (April)
Pages: 375-92

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Handle: RePEc:bla:restud:v:61:y:1994:i:2:p:375-92

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Cited by:
  1. Luojia Hu & Christopher Taber, 2007. "Displacement, Asymmetric Information, and Heterogeneous Human Capital," Upjohn Working Papers and Journal Articles 07-136, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
  2. Waldman, Michael, 1996. "Asymmetric learning and the wage/productivity relationship," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 419-429, December.
  3. Burguet, Roberto & Caminal, Ramón & Matutes, Carmen, 1999. "Golden Cages for Showy Birds: Optimal Switching Costs in Labour Markets," CEPR Discussion Papers 2070, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Nakamura, Emi, 2008. "Layoffs and lemons over the business cycle," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 99(1), pages 55-58, April.
  5. Tan, Danchi & Mahoney, Joseph T., 2002. "An Empirical Investigation of Expatriate Utilization: Resource-Based, Agency, and Transaction Costs Perspectives," Working Papers 02-0129, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, College of Business.
  6. Luojia Hu & Christopher Taber, 2011. "Displacement, Asymmetric Information, and HeterogeneousHuman Capital," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 29(1), pages 113-152, 01.
  7. Alma Cohen, 2012. "Asymmetric Learning in Repeated Contracting: An Empirical Study," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 94(2), pages 419-432, May.
  8. Li, Jin, 2013. "Job mobility, wage dispersion, and technological change: An asymmetric information perspective," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 60(C), pages 105-126.
  9. Burguet, Roberto & Caminal, Ramon & Matutes, Carmen, 2002. "Golden cages for showy birds: Optimal switching costs in labor contracts," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(7), pages 1153-1185, July.
  10. Néria Rodréguez-Planas, 2011. "Displacement, Signaling, and Recall Expectations," Working Papers 550, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
  11. Wagner, Alexander F, 2011. "Relational contracts when the agent's productivity inside the relationship is correlated with outside opportunities," CEPR Discussion Papers 8378, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.

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