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The Perverse Effects of Partial Employment Protection Reform: Experience Rating and French Older Workers

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Author Info

  • Behaghel, Luc

    ()
    (Paris School of Economics)

  • Crépon, Bruno

    ()
    (CREST)

  • Sédillot, Béatrice

    ()
    (CREST-INSEE)

Abstract

French firms laying off workers aged 50 and above have to pay a tax to the unemployment insurance system, known as the Delalande tax. This is an original case of experience rating in the European context, restricted to older workers, whose employment prospects are particularly bad. We evaluate its impact on layoff (firing) as well as on hiring, taking advantage of several changes in the measure since its introduction in 1987. We find particularly strong evidence of an adverse effect of the tax on the firms' propensity to hire older workers, thanks to a legislative change in 1992, when workers hired after the age of 50 stopped being liable for the tax. Chances to find a job increased significantly for unemployed workers older than 50, compared to workers just below 50 who remained liable for the tax. We estimate that before 1992, the tax reduced the probability that an unemployed worker aged 50 find a job by as much as 25%. Evidence on the effect on layoffs is less clear cut. The impact is sizeable only for the most stringent tax schedule, after 1998, but it is also imprecisely estimated.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 1679.

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Length: 37 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2005
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Journal of Public Economics, 2008, 92 (3-4), 696-721.
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp1679

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Keywords: experience rating; employment protection; older workers; firing; hiring;

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References

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  1. Abowd, John M. & Kramarz, Francis, 2003. "The costs of hiring and separations," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(5), pages 499-530, October.
  2. Anderson, Patricia M & Meyer, Bruce D, 1997. "Unemployment Insurance Takeup Rates and the After-Tax Value of Benefits," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(3), pages 913-37, August.
  3. David H. Autor & John J. Donohue III & Stewart J. Schwab, 2003. "The Costs of Wrongful-Discharge Laws," NBER Working Papers 9425, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Anderson, Patricia M. & Meyer, Bruce D., 2000. "The effects of the unemployment insurance payroll tax on wages, employment, claims and denials," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 78(1-2), pages 81-106, October.
  5. Patrick Aubert, 2003. "Les quinquagénaires dans l'emploi salarié privé," Économie et Statistique, Programme National Persée, vol. 368(1), pages 65-94.
  6. Topel, Robert H, 1984. "Experience Rating of Unemployment Insurance and the Incidence of Unemployment," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 27(1), pages 61-90, April.
  7. Daron Acemoglu & Joshua D. Angrist, 2001. "Consequences of Employment Protection? The Case of the Americans with Disabilities Act," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 109(5), pages 915-957, October.
  8. Hakola, Tuulia & Uusitalo, Roope, 2005. "Not so voluntary retirement decisions? Evidence from a pension reform," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(11-12), pages 2121-2136, December.
  9. Béatrice Sédillot & Bruno Crépon & Luc Behaghel, 2004. "Contribution Delalande et transitions sur le marché du travail," Économie et Statistique, Programme National Persée, vol. 372(1), pages 61-88.
  10. Topel, Robert H, 1983. "On Layoffs and Unemployment Insurance," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(4), pages 541-59, September.
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Cited by:
  1. Daniel Hallberg, 2011. "Economic Fluctuations and Retirement of Older Employees," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 25(3), pages 287-307, 09.
  2. Åsa Rosén & Steinar Holden, 2009. "Discrimination and Employment Protection," 2009 Meeting Papers 350, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  3. Daniel Hallberg & Matias Eklöf, 2010. "Do buy-outs of older workers matter?: Estimating retirement behavior with special early retirement offers," International Journal of Manpower, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 31(3), pages 337-359, July.
  4. Hairault, Jean-Olivier & Chéron, Arnaud & Langot, François, 2007. "Job Creation and Job Destruction over the Life Cycle: The Older Workers in the Spotlight," IZA Discussion Papers 2597, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Jean-Olivier Hairault & Francois Langot & Arnaud Cheron, 2007. "Job creation and job destruction over the life cycle," 2007 Meeting Papers 431, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  6. Andrea Bassanini & Luca Nunziata & Danielle Venn, 2009. "Job protection legislation and productivity growth in OECD countries," Economic Policy, CEPR & CES & MSH, vol. 24, pages 349-402, 04.

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