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Last in, first out?: Estimating the effect of seniority rules in Sweden

  • von Below, David
  • Thoursie, Peter Skogman

In this paper we investigate whether a relaxation in seniority rules (the "last-in-first-out" principle) had any effect on firms' employment behaviour. Seniority rules exist in several countries, but consequences of seniority rules on firms' employment behaviour have not been examined previously. The "last-in-first-out" principle in Sweden was reformed in January 2001 such that employers with ten or fewer employees were allowed to exempt two workers from the seniority rule. Using an employer-employee unbalanced panel data for the period 1996-2005, we find that both hires and separations increased in small firms relative to large firms by 5%. This also implies that there were no effects on firms' net employment. Our results show that firms reacted to changes in the seniority rules, but we argue that the effects are not overwhelmingly large.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Labour Economics.

Volume (Year): 17 (2010)
Issue (Month): 6 (December)
Pages: 987-997

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Handle: RePEc:eee:labeco:v:17:y:2010:i:6:p:987-997
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