The Costs of Worker Displacement
AbstractThis study defines the nature of worker displacement and develops a mechanism for inferring the amount of losses caused by displacement in away that is tied to economic theory. Data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics are first used to identify the characteristics of displaced workers. After a demonstration that usual methods of evaluating workers' losses cannot provide correct measures of the cost to society, a game--theoretic model determining the amount of firm -- specific investment in workers is developed. As workers'and firms' horizons decrease, such investment will be reduced; this will be exhibited in a flattening of the wage-tenure profile as the date of displacement approaches. Examination of the profile thus provides a test whether firms and workers have good information about impending displacement. Using the PSID data for workers displaced between 1977 and 1981, the study shows there is no significant flattening of the wage-tenure profile in the entire sample. (However, some flattening does occur among unionized workers, and also among workers who are laid-off permanently from a plant that remains open.) This suggests that workers are surprised by displacement, for they continue investing in firm-specific human capital up to the time of displacement. The present value of the worker's share of the lost returns on this investment is around $7000 (1980 dollars) under intermediate assumptions about the real rate of discount, depreciation on such investment and the effect of tenure on the rate of voluntary separation.
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 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 1495.
Date of creation: Nov 1984
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Hamermesh, Daniel S. "The Costs of Worker Displacement," Quarterly Journal of Economics, Vol. 102, 1987, Vol. 102, No. 1, (February 1987), pp. 51-75.
Note: LS ITI IFM
Contact details of provider:
Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
Other versions of this item:
You can help add them by filling out this form.
CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
This item has more than 25 citations. To prevent cluttering this page, these citations are listed on a separate page. reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.Access and download statisticsgeneral information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ().
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.