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Fixed-Term and Permanent Employment Contracts: Theory and Evidence

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Author Info

  • Shutao Cao
  • Enchuan Shao
  • Pedro Silos

Abstract

This paper constructs a theory of the coexistence of fixed-term and permanent employment contracts in an environment with ex-ante identical workers and employers. Workers under fixed-term contracts can be dismissed at no cost while permanent employees enjoy labor protection. In a labor market characterized by search and matching frictions, firms find it optimal to discriminate by offering some workers a fixedterm contract while offering other workers a permanent contract. Match-specific quality between a worker and a firm determines the type of contract offered. We analytically characterize the firm’s hiring and firing rules. Using matched employer-employee data from Canada, we estimate the model’s parameters. Increasing the level of firing costs increases wage inequality and decreases the unemployment rate. The increase in inequality results from a larger fraction of temporary workers and not from an increase in the wage premium earned by permanent workers.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Bank of Canada in its series Working Papers with number 11-21.

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Length: 38 pages
Date of creation: 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:bca:bocawp:11-21

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Keywords: Labour markets; Potential output; Productivity;

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References

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  1. Eric F. Smith, 2007. "Limited Duration Employment," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 10(3), pages 444-471, July.
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  3. E Wasmer, 1997. "Competition for Jobs in a Growing Economy and the Emergence of Dualism," CEP Discussion Papers dp0369, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
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  5. Danielle Venn, 2009. "Legislation, Collective Bargaining and Enforcement: Updating the OECD Employment Protection Indicators," OECD Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers 89, OECD Publishing.
  6. Fernando Alvarez & Marcelo Veracierto, 1999. "Labor market policies in an equilibrium search model," Working Paper Series WP-99-10, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  7. Renato Faccini, 2008. "Reassessing Labor Market Reforms: Temporary Contracts as a Screening Device," Economics Working Papers ECO2008/27, European University Institute.
  8. Mariano Bosch & Julen Esteban-Pretel, 2009. "Cyclical Informality and Unemployment," CIRJE F-Series CIRJE-F-613, CIRJE, Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo.
  9. Chernozhukov, Victor & Hong, Han, 2003. "An MCMC approach to classical estimation," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 115(2), pages 293-346, August.
  10. 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.
  11. Pierre Cahuc & Fabien Postel-Vinay & Jean-Marc Robin, 2003. "Wage bargaining with on-the-job search : theory and evidence," Research Unit Working Papers 0212, Laboratoire d'Economie Appliquee, INRA.
  12. Shutao Cao & Danny Leung, 2010. "Stability versus Flexibility: The Role of Temporary Employment in Labour Adjustment," Working Papers 10-27, Bank of Canada.
  13. Cahuc, Pierre & Postel-Vinay, Fabien, 2002. "Temporary jobs, employment protection and labor market performance," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(1), pages 63-91, February.
  14. Alvarez, Fernando & Veracierto, Marcelo, 2012. "Fixed-term employment contracts in an equilibrium search model," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 147(5), pages 1725-1753.
  15. Eckstein, Zvi & Wolpin, Kenneth I, 1990. "Estimating a Market Equilibrium Search Model from Panel Data on Individuals," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(4), pages 783-808, July.
  16. Christopher Flinn & James Mabli, 2008. "On-the-Job Search, Minimum Wages, and Labor Market Outcomes in an Equilibrium Bargaining Framework," Carlo Alberto Notebooks 91, Collegio Carlo Alberto.
  17. Bontemps, Christian & Robin, Jean-Marc & Van den Berg, Gerard J, 1999. "An Empirical Equilibrium Job Search Model with Search on the Job and Heterogeneous Workers and Firms," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 40(4), pages 1039-74, November.
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  19. O Blanchard & A Landier, 2002. "The Perverse Effects of Partial Labour Market Reform: fixed--Term Contracts in France," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(480), pages F214-F244, June.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Elsayyad, May & Konrad, Kai A., 2012. "Fighting Multiple Tax Havens," Munich Reprints in Economics 13964, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  2. Cahuc, Pierre & Charlot, Olivier & Malherbet, Franck, 2012. "Explaining the Spread of Temporary Jobs and its Impact on Labor Turnover," IZA Discussion Papers 6365, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Charlot, Olivier & Malherbet, Franck, 2013. "Education and employment protection," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(C), pages 3-23.
  4. Tealdi, Cristina, 2011. "How do employment contract reforms affect welfare? Theory and evidence," MPRA Paper 33573, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  5. David Amirault & Paul Fenton & Thérèse Laflèche, 2013. "Asking About Wages: Results from the Bank of Canada’s Wage Setting Survey of Canadian Companies," Discussion Papers 13-1, Bank of Canada.

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