Multiple equilibria in a firing game with impartial justice
AbstractIn many European countries, a majority of employees are hired under very protective labor contracts thatrestrict the ability of the employer to dismiss them. In particular, employees can take to courts the firm'slayoff motive. Given the high costs specific to so-called economic motives and judges' limited ability toprocess an ever growing flow of cases, in the last few years firms have been tempted to invoke faked personalmotives for firing "good" workers. This paper shows that the interaction between firms, employees andthe labor judicial system is consistent with multiple equilibria. Hence firing costs depend not only onvariables under the control of the government, but also on the nature of the equilibrium. Policies aimingat increasing flexibility, interpreted as a reduction in firing costs, should consider the possibility of shiftingfrom a high to a low firing costs equilibrium.
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Date of creation: 09 Jan 2008
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Labor judges; Firing costs; Layoff motive; Multiple equilibria.;
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