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Reducing labor redundancy in state owned enterprises

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Author Info

  • Svejnar, Jan
  • Terrell, Katherine

Abstract

This paper focuses on what determines labor redundancy in selected modes of transport (rails, ports, and buses) in six countries: Brazil, Chile, Ghana, Mauritius, Sri Lanka, and Yugoslavia. It also analyzes different approaches for solving the problem, and concludes that analysis of the labor redundancy problem in public transportation enterprises has been neglected because conceptually it is not a simple, easily identifiable phenomenon and because its treatment is often politically controversial, as it affects social welfare. Governments tend to approach the problem only when circumstances are extreme (budget stress or near-complete breakdown of the transport system). Solutions are then hammered out in a tense environment, with no longer-term vision of the optimal employment and pay practices. This paper also presents a framework for identifying labor redundancy within different countries whose social welfare functions vary in the relative weight given to efficiency and equity . Redundancy-reduction schemes can have a high rate of return and still be socially acceptable. But, cash flow problems may necessitate the assistance of international donor agencies. Attention must be paid to how this compensation is administered, as it can make a difference to the workers'welfare.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 792.

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Date of creation: 31 Oct 1991
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:792

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Related research

Keywords: Banks&Banking Reform; Municipal Financial Management; Health Monitoring&Evaluation; Environmental Economics&Policies; Labor Management and Relations;

References

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  1. Krueger, Alan B & Summers, Lawrence H, 1988. "Efficiency Wages and the Inter-industry Wage Structure," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(2), pages 259-93, March.
  2. Orley Ashenfelter & James N. Brown, 1985. "Testing the Efficiency of Employment Contracts," Working Papers 573, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  3. Harding, Alan S., 1990. "Restrictive labor practices in seaports," Policy Research Working Paper Series 514, The World Bank.
  4. David Card, 1986. "Efficient Contracts with Costly Adjustment: Short-RUn Employment Determination for Airline Mechanics," NBER Working Papers 1931, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Brada, Josef C, 1989. "Technological Progress and Factor Utilization in Eastern European Economic Growth," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 56(224), pages 433-48, November.
  6. MaCurdy, Thomas E & Pencavel, John H, 1986. "Testing between Competing Models of Wage and Employment Determination in Unionized Markets," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(3), pages S3-S39, June.
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Cited by:
  1. Alberto Chong & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes, 2003. "La privatización y la reestructuración de la fuerza laboral en todo el mundo," Research Department Publications 4330, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
  2. Alberto Chong & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes, 2003. "Privatization and Labor Force Restructuring Around the World," Research Department Publications 4329, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
  3. Rama,Martin G., 1997. "Efficient public sector downsizing," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1840, The World Bank.

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