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The shape of hiring and separation costs in France

  • Kramarz, Francis
  • Michaud, Marie-Laure

In this article, we estimate the structure of costs of hiring, terminating, and retiring employees in France. We use a representative panel data set of French establishments that contains direct measures of these various costs as well as measures of entries and exits for the years 1992 and 1996. First, we show that our panel data source is able to reproduce results obtained by Abowd and Kramarz (2003) when we use the cross-section dimension. Our estimates show that collective terminations are much more expensive than individual terminations: legislation, namely the requirement to set up a "social plan" in case of collective terminations, magnifies firing costs. Collective terminations entail very large fixed costs. Termination costs are essentially linear in the number of terminated workers, with collective terminations being much more expensive. The costs of retirement are concave in the number of retired workers with a fixed cost component which is smaller than the one estimated for terminations, and quite smaller than that obtained by Abowd and Kramarz (2003). Finally, we find that hiring costs are small and seem only present when hiring on CDI; costs of hiring on short-term contracts are almost zero. Finally, the fixed (firm-specific) component of hiring costs is very small.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Labour Economics.

Volume (Year): 17 (2010)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
Pages: 27-37

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Handle: RePEc:eee:labeco:v:17:y:2010:i:1:p:27-37
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/labeco

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  1. Bentolila, S. & Saint-Paul, G., 1995. "A model of labour demand with linear adjustment costs," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 2(1), pages 105-105, March.
  2. John M. Abowd & Francis Kramarz, 1997. "The Costs of Hiring and Separations," NBER Working Papers 6110, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. John M. Abowd & Patrick Corbel & Francis Kramarz, 1996. "The Entry and Exit of Workers and the Growth of Employment: An Analysis of French Establishments," NBER Working Papers 5551, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. John M. Abowd & Francis Kramarz & David N. Margolis, 1994. "High-Wage Workers and High-Wage Firms," CIRANO Working Papers 94s-23, CIRANO.
  5. Dominique Goux & Eric Maurin & Marianne Pauchet, 1999. "Fixed-term Contracts and the Dynamics of Labour Demand," Working Papers 99-02, Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistique.
  6. Ricardo J. Caballero & Eduardo M.R.A. Engel & John Haltiwanger, 1995. "Aggregate Employment Dynamics: Building From Microeconomic Evidence," NBER Working Papers 5042, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Hamermesh, Daniel S, 1989. "Labor Demand and the Structure of Adjustment Costs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(4), pages 674-89, September.
  8. Nickell, S. & Layard, R., 1997. "Labour Market Institutions and Economic Performance," Papers 23, Centre for Economic Performance & Institute of Economics.
  9. Blanchard, Olivier & Wolfers, Justin, 2000. "The Role of Shocks and Institutions in the Rise of European Unemployment: The Aggregate Evidence," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(462), pages C1-33, March.
  10. P Garibaldi, 1995. "Job Flow Dynamics and Firing Restrictions," CEP Discussion Papers dp0256, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  11. Hamermesh, Daniel S. & Pfann, Gerard Antonie, 1996. "Adjustment Costs in Factor Demand," CEPR Discussion Papers 1371, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  12. Bertola, Giuseppe, 1990. "Job security, employment and wages," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 34(4), pages 851-879, June.
  13. Gerard A. Pfann, 2006. "Downsizing and Heterogeneous Firing Costs," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 88(1), pages 158-170, February.
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