Fixed-Term Contracts in Europe: A Reassessment in Light of the Importance of Match-Specific Learning
AbstractThe use of fixed-term contracts has proliferated during the past decade in many European countries due to the relaxation of their regulation. Policymakers aimed to reduce labor-market rigidities by offering to firms these flexible contracts with little or no dismissal costs but with a finite contract length. The analysis of these contracts has thus far focused on their effect on the overall employment rate. This study high-lights that in the evaluation of fixed-term contracts as policy instruments it is also important to look at their effect on productivity as a function of tenure and on the tenure distribution of employed workers. These two effects jointly determine the policy's overall productivity effect. I show that the liberalization of fixed-term contracts can have a significant effect on the productivity of employment relationships when match-specific learning is important. Moreover, the effect is different depending on the assumption about the nature of the learning process. I distinguish between two kinds of match-specific learning - learning-by-doing and learning about match quality - and show that under learning-by-doing the overall productivity effect is necessarily negative, while under learning about match quality the effect could be either negative or positive depending on how much experimentation improves in the presence of fixed-term contracts. I calibrate the model based on earlier empirical work and find that indeed the productivity effect is positive as output per worker increases by 0.6%.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Institute of Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences in its series IEHAS Discussion Papers with number 0110.
Length: 29 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2001
Date of revision:
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Jovanovic, Boyan & Nyarko, Yaw, 1994.
"The Transfer of Human Capital,"
94-25, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
- Farber, Henry S, 1994. "The Analysis of Interfirm Worker Mobility," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 12(4), pages 554-93, October.
- Robert H. Topel, 1990.
"Specific Capital, Mobility, and Wages: Wages Rise with Job Seniority,"
NBER Working Papers
3294, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Topel, Robert H, 1991. "Specific Capital, Mobility, and Wages: Wages Rise with Job Seniority," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(1), pages 145-76, February.
- Brewster, Chris & Mayne, Lesley & Tregaskis, Olga, 1997. "Flexible working in Europe," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 133-151, July.
- Victor Aguirregabiria & Cesar Alonso-Borrego, 2009.
"Labor Contracts and Flexibility: Evidence from a Labor Market Reform in Spain,"
tecipa-346, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
- Victor Aguirregabiria & Cesar Alonso-Borrego, 2009. "Labor contracts and flexibility : evidence from a labor market reform in Spain," Economics Working Papers we091811, Universidad Carlos III, Departamento de Economía.
- Bentolila, Samuel & Saint-Paul, Gilles, 1992. "The macroeconomic impact of flexible labor contracts, with an application to Spain," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 36(5), pages 1013-1047, June.
- Judd, Kenneth L., 1985. "The law of large numbers with a continuum of IID random variables," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 19-25, February.
- Dale T. Mortensen & Christopher A. Pissarides, 1993.
"Job Creation and Job Destruction in the Theory of Unemployment,"
CEP Discussion Papers
dp0110, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
- Mortensen, Dale T & Pissarides, Christopher A, 1994. "Job Creation and Job Destruction in the Theory of Unemployment," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 61(3), pages 397-415, July.
- Cabrales, Antonio & Hopenhayn, Hugo, .
"Labor Market Flexibility and Aggregate Employment Volatility,"
Open Access publications from Universidad Carlos III de Madrid
info:hdl:10016/3685, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid.
- Cabrales, Antonio & Hopenhayn, Hugo A., 1997. "Labor-market flexibility and aggregate employment volatility," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 189-228, June.
- Blanchard, Olivier Jean & Landier, Augustin, 2002.
"The Perverse Effects of Partial Labor Market Reform: Fixed Duration Contracts in France,"
Open Access publications from University of Toulouse 1 Capitole
http://neeo.univ-tlse1.fr, University of Toulouse 1 Capitole.
- Olivier Blanchard & Augustin Landier, 2001. "The Perverse Effects of Partial Labor Market Reform: Fixed Duration Contracts in France," NBER Working Papers 8219, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Garcia Serrano, Carlos, 1999.
"Worker Turnover and Job Reallocation: The Role of Fixed-Term Contracts,"
Oxford Economic Papers,
Oxford University Press, vol. 51(1), pages 237a, January.
- Serrano, Carlos Garcia, 1998. "Worker Turnover and Job Reallocation: The Role of Fixed-Term Contracts," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 50(4), pages 709-25, October.
- Farber, Henry S., 1999. "Mobility and stability: The dynamics of job change in labor markets," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 37, pages 2439-2483 Elsevier.
- Lazear, Edward P, 1990. "Job Security Provisions and Employment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 105(3), pages 699-726, August.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Adrienn Foldi).
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.