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How Do Layoff Costs Affect Employment?

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  • Ljungqvist, Lars

    ()
    (Stockholm School of Economics)

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    Abstract

    General equilibrium analyses of layoff costs have had mixed messages on the implications for employment. This paper brings out the economic forces at work and explains the disparate results. Specifically, we show that positive employment effects of layoff costs come through reducing labor reallocation, whereas negative effects come through reducing the private return to work due to those layoff costs and the associated inefficient allocation of labor. Additional adverse employment effects can arise through an increase in the effective bargaining strength of workers. These forces explain why layoff costs tend to increase employment in search models while the opposite is true in models with employment lotteries. In matching models, we show that the employment effects depend critically on how layoff costs are assumed to enter the bargaining process.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 403.

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    Length: 37 pages
    Date of creation: Nov 2001
    Date of revision:
    Publication status: published in: Economic Journal, 2002, 112 (482), 829-853
    Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp403

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    Related research

    Keywords: unemployment; Layoff costs;

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    References

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    1. Bertola, Giuseppe, 1990. "Job security, employment and wages," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 34(4), pages 851-879, June.
    2. Pissarides, Christopher A, 1985. "Taxes, Subsidies, and Equilibrium Unemployment," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(1), pages 121-33, January.
    3. Rogerson, Richard, 1988. "Indivisible labor, lotteries and equilibrium," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 3-16, January.
    4. Hosios, Arthur J, 1990. "On the Efficiency of Matching and Related Models of Search and Unemployment," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 57(2), pages 279-98, April.
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    Cited by:
    1. Julia Fath & Clemens Fuest, 2002. "Temporary Layoffs and Unemployment Insurance: Is Experience Rating Desirable?," CESifo Working Paper Series 663, CESifo Group Munich.
    2. Garibaldi, Pietro & Violante, Giovanni L, 2002. "Firing Tax and Severance Payment in Search Economies: A Comparison," CEPR Discussion Papers 3636, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    3. Steffen Ahrens & Dennis Wesselbaum, 2009. "On the Introduction of Firing Costs," Kiel Working Papers 1559, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
    4. Dennis Wesselbaum, 2009. "Firing Costs in a New Keynesian Model with Endogenous Separations," Kiel Working Papers 1550, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.

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