IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Unemployment benefits, job protection, and the nature of educational investment


  • Decreuse, Bruno
  • Granier, Pierre


This paper examines the impact of labor market institutions covering the risk of unemployment on the nature of educational investment. We offer a matching model of unemployment in which individuals of a given education determine the scope (or adaptability) and intensity (or productivity) of their human capital before entering the labor market. Our model features an increasing relationship between match surplus and the return to adaptability skills. This relationship explains why matching frictions promote adaptability skills instead of productivity skills, and why unemployment benefits and job protection create the incentive for productivity skill acquisition.

Suggested Citation

  • Decreuse, Bruno & Granier, Pierre, 2013. "Unemployment benefits, job protection, and the nature of educational investment," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(C), pages 20-29.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:labeco:v:23:y:2013:i:c:p:20-29
    DOI: 10.1016/j.labeco.2013.03.001

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Mortensen, Dale & Pissarides, Christopher, 2011. "Job Creation and Job Destruction in the Theory of Unemployment," Economic Policy, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration, vol. 1, pages 1-19.
    2. Toshihiko Mukoyama & Ayşegül Şahin, 2006. "Specialization and Human Capital in Search Equilibrium," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 4(2-3), pages 503-512, 04-05.
    3. Lars Ljungqvist & Thomas J. Sargent, 1998. "The European Unemployment Dilemma," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(3), pages 514-550, June.
    4. Shouyong Shi, 1997. "Money and specialization," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 10(1), pages 99-133.
    5. Acemoglu, Daron & Pischke, Jorn-Steffen, 1999. "Beyond Becker: Training in Imperfect Labour Markets," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(453), pages 112-142, February.
    6. Stephen Nickell, 1997. "Unemployment and Labor Market Rigidities: Europe versus North America," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(3), pages 55-74, Summer.
    7. Dirk Krueger & Krishna B. Kumar, 2004. "Skill-Specific rather than General Education: A Reason for US--Europe Growth Differences?," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 9(2), pages 167-207, June.
    8. Gould, Eric D & Moav, Omer & Weinberg, Bruce A, 2001. "Precautionary Demand for Education, Inequality, and Technological Progress," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 6(4), pages 285-315, December.
    9. Booth, Alison L & Chatterji, Monojit, 1998. "Unions and Efficient Training," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 108(447), pages 328-343, March.
    10. Rosen, Sherwin, 1983. "Specialization and Human Capital," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 1(1), pages 43-49, January.
    11. Charlot, Olivier & Decreuse, Bruno, 2005. "Self-selection in education with matching frictions," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(2), pages 251-267, April.
    12. Moen, Espen R, 1999. "Education, Ranking, and Competition for Jobs," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 17(4), pages 694-723, October.
    13. Mortensen, Dale T & Pissarides, Christopher A, 1999. "Unemployment Responses to 'Skill-Biased' Technology Shocks: The Role of Labour Market Policy," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(455), pages 242-265, April.
    14. Derek Laing & Theodore Palivos & Ping Wang, 1995. "Learning, Matching and Growth," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 62(1), pages 115-129.
    15. Etienne Wasmer, 2006. "General versus Specific Skills in Labor Markets with Search Frictions and Firing Costs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(3), pages 811-831, June.
    16. Stevens, Margaret, 1994. "A Theoretical Model of On-the-Job Training with Imperfect Competition," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 46(4), pages 537-562, October.
    17. Burdett, Ken & Smith, Eric, 2002. "The low skill trap," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(8), pages 1439-1451, September.
    18. Kiyotaki, Nobuhiro & Wright, Randall, 1993. "A Search-Theoretic Approach to Monetary Economics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(1), pages 63-77, March.
    19. Grossman, Gene M & Shapiro, Carl, 1982. "A Theory of Factor Mobility," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 90(5), pages 1054-1069, October.
    20. Arthur J. Hosios, 1990. "On The Efficiency of Matching and Related Models of Search and Unemployment," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 57(2), pages 279-298.
    21. Smits, W., 2007. "Industry-specific or generic skills? Conflicting interests of firms and workers," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 653-663, June.
    22. Fella, Giulio, 2005. "Termination restrictions and investment in general training," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 49(6), pages 1479-1499, August.
    23. Daron Acemoglu, 1996. "A Microfoundation for Social Increasing Returns in Human Capital Accumulation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 111(3), pages 779-804.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Belan, Pascal & Chéron, Arnaud, 2014. "Turbulence, training and unemployment," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(C), pages 16-29.

    More about this item


    Matching frictions; Education; Adaptability skills; Labor market institutions;

    JEL classification:

    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:labeco:v:23:y:2013:i:c:p:20-29. 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: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: .

    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 CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.