The Layoff Rat Race
We investigate how discretionary investments in general and specific human capital are affected by the possibility of layoffs. After investments are made, firms may have to lay off workers, and will do so in inverse order of the profit that each worker generates. Greater skill investments, especially in specific human capital, contribute more to a firm's bottom line, so that workers who make those investments will be laid off last. We show that as long as workers' bargaining positions are not too weak, workers invest in specific human capital in order to reduce layoff probabilities. Indeed, workers "over-invest" in skill acquisition from a social perspective whenever their bargaining power is strong enough, even though they only receive a share of any investment. More generally, we characterize how equilibrium skill investments are affected by the distribution of worker abilities within firms, the probability that a firm will downsize, and the distribution of employment opportunities in the economy. Copyright The editors of the "Scandinavian Journal of Economics" 2010 .
If 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.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Volume (Year): 112 (2010)
Issue (Month): 1 (03)
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/10.1111/(ISSN)1467-9442 |
|Order Information:||Web: http://www.blackwellpublishing.com/subs.asp?ref=0347-0520|
References listed on IDEAS
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.:
- Robert Gibbons & Michael Waldman, 2006.
"Enriching a Theory of Wage and Promotion Dynamics inside Firms,"
Journal of Labor Economics,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 24(1), pages 59-108, January.
- Gibbons, Robert & Waldman, Michael, 2003. "Enriching a Theory of Wage and Promotion Dynamics Inside Firms," Working papers 4324-03, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
- Robert Gibbons & Michael Waldman, 2003. "Enriching a Theory of Wage and Promotion Dynamics Inside Firms," NBER Working Papers 9849, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Michael Waldman, 1989.
"Up-or-Out Contracts: A Signaling Perspective,"
UCLA Economics Working Papers
556, UCLA Department of Economics.
- Gueorgui Kambourov & Iourii Manovskii, 2009.
"Occupational Specificity Of Human Capital,"
International Economic Review,
Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 50(1), pages 63-115, 02.
- Robert Gibbons & Michael Waldman, 1999. "A Theory Of Wage And Promotion Dynamics Inside Firms," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(4), pages 1321-1358, November.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bla:scandj:v:112:y:2010:i:1:p:185-210. See general 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: (Wiley-Blackwell Digital Licensing)or (Christopher F. Baum)
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.