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Fixed-term and permanent employment contracts: theory and evidence

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  • 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 fixed-term 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 firms' hiring and firing rules. Using matched employer-employee data from Canada, we estimate the wage equations from the model. The effects of firing costs on wage inequality vary dramatically depending on whether search externalities are taken into account.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta in its series Working Paper with number 2010-13.

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Date of creation: 2010
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedawp:2010-13

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  1. Cahuc, Pierre & Postel-Vinay, Fabien, 2001. "Temporary Jobs, Employment Protection and Labor Market Performance," IZA Discussion Papers 260, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. James Mabli & Christopher Flinn, 2007. "On-the-Job Search, Minimum Wages, and Labor Market Outcomes in an Equilibrium Bargaining Framework," 2007 Meeting Papers 791, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  3. 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.
  4. César Alonso-Borrego & Jesús Fernández-Villaverde & José E. Galdón-Sánchez, 2005. "Evaluating Labor Market Reforms: A General Equilibrium Approach," NBER Working Papers 11519, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Fernando Alvarez & Marcelo Veracierto, 1999. "Labor market policies in an equilibrium search model," Working Paper Series WP-99-10, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  6. Eckstein, Zvi & van den Berg, Gerard J., 2007. "Empirical labor search: A survey," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 136(2), pages 531-564, February.
  7. 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.
  8. Danielle Venn, 2009. "Legislation, Collective Bargaining and Enforcement: Updating the OECD Employment Protection Indicators," OECD Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers 89, OECD Publishing.
  9. Chernozhukov, Victor & Hong, Han, 2003. "An MCMC approach to classical estimation," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 115(2), pages 293-346, August.
  10. Eckstein, Zvi & Mortensen, Dale T., 2006. "Labor search," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 50(4), pages 807-810, May.
  11. Renato Faccini, 2008. "Reassessing Labor Market Reforms: Temporary Contracts as a Screening Device," Economics Working Papers ECO2008/27, European University Institute.
  12. Wasmer, Etienne, 1999. "Competition for Jobs in a Growing Economy and the Emergence of Dualism," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(457), pages 349-71, July.
  13. 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.
  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. 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.
  17. Shutao Cao & Danny Leung, 2010. "Stability versus Flexibility: The Role of Temporary Employment in Labour Adjustment," Working Papers 10-27, Bank of Canada.
  18. Mariano Bosch & Julen Esteban-Pretel, 2009. "Cyclical Informality and Unemployment," CIRJE F-Series CIRJE-F-613, CIRJE, Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo.
  19. 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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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," CEPR Discussion Papers 8864, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. 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.
  4. Charlot, Olivier & Malherbet, Franck, 2013. "Education and employment protection," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(C), pages 3-23.
  5. Tealdi, Cristina, 2011. "How do employment contract reforms affect welfare? Theory and evidence," MPRA Paper 33573, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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