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Education and employment protection


  • Charlot, Olivier
  • Malherbet, Franck


In this paper, we generalize the study of the return to education undertaken in e.g. Laing et al. (1995) and Burdett and Smith (2002) to an environment where the link between education and job destruction is taken into account. This enables us to study how a European-type Employment Protection Legislation (EPL) with heavily regulated long-term contracts and more flexible short-term contracts affects the return to schooling, equilibrium unemployment and welfare. In this context, we show that firing costs and temporary employment have opposite effects on the rate of use of human capital and thus, on educational investments. We furthermore demonstrate that a laissez-faire economy with no regulation is inefficient as it is characterized by insufficient educational investments leading to excess job destruction and inadequate job creation. By stabilizing employment, firing costs could spur educational investments and therefore lead to gains in welfare and productivity, though a first-best policy would be to subsidize education. However, there is little chance that a rise in firing costs in a dual (European-type) EPL context would raise the incentives to schooling and aggregate welfare.

Suggested Citation

  • Charlot, Olivier & Malherbet, Franck, 2013. "Education and employment protection," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(C), pages 3-23.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:labeco:v:20:y:2013:i:c:p:3-23
    DOI: 10.1016/j.labeco.2012.09.004

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    Cited by:

    1. repec:ilo:ilowps:481497 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Bolli, Thomas & Kemper, Johanna, 2015. "Evaluating the Impact of Employment Protection on Firm-Provided Training in an RDD Framework," Annual Conference 2015 (Muenster): Economic Development - Theory and Policy 112895, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    3. Etienne Wasmer & Nicolas Lepage-Saucier & Juliette Schleich, 2013. "Moving towards a single labour contract: pros, cons and mixed feelings," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/772g8m5php8, Sciences Po.
    4. Mariusz Zielinski, 2015. "Unemployment And Labor Market Policy In Visegrad Group Countries," Equilibrium. Quarterly Journal of Economics and Economic Policy, Institute of Economic Research, vol. 10(3), pages 185-201, September.

    More about this item


    Human capital; Employment protection; Labor turnover; Matching frictions; Efficiency;

    JEL classification:

    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General
    • J20 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - General
    • J60 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - General


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