Dismissals and match-specific rents
Labor contracts that result in dismissals are quite common in the real world. The question that arises is why employers do not just offer reduced wages instead of asking workers with low realized productivity to leave. This paper argues that such behavior can be explained by workers' understandable unwillingness to agree to contracts that an employer will not have an incentive to honor in the future. Specifically, we construct a matching model in which the employer and the worker are both uncertain about the value the other places on the match. Because the worker's match-specific productivity is the employer's private information, a commitment to pay a wage equal to the worker's value of marginal product is not enforceable. In the absence of a wage guarantee, the employer will offer retained workers wages below their value of marginal product, which causes quits to be inefficiently high. The employer can reduce quits by contractually promising a guaranteed wage to retained workers. Although this will lead to some involuntary dismissals, the loss from dismissals will be less than the gain from lower quits if the wage guarantee is not too high.
(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)
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.
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.:
- Black, Dan A. & Loewenstein, Mark A., 1997.
"Dismissals and match-specific rents,"
Elsevier, vol. 4(4), pages 325-340, December.
- Shapiro, Carl & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1984. "Equilibrium Unemployment as a Worker Discipline Device," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(3), pages 433-44, June.
- John M. Barron & Mark C. Berger & Dan A. Black, 1997. "On-the-Job Training," Books from Upjohn Press, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, number ojt, June.
- Charles Brown, 1989.
"Firms' Choice of Method of Pay,"
NBER Working Papers
3065, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Gary S. Becker, 1962. "Investment in Human Capital: A Theoretical Analysis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 70, pages 9.
- Dale T. Mortensen, 1978. "Specific Capital and Labor Turnover," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 9(2), pages 572-586, Autumn.
- Myerson, Roger B. & Satterthwaite, Mark A., 1983.
"Efficient mechanisms for bilateral trading,"
Journal of Economic Theory,
Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 265-281, April.
- Hall, Robert E & Lazear, Edward P, 1984.
"The Excess Sensitivity of Layoffs and Quits to Demand,"
Journal of Labor Economics,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 2(2), pages 233-57, April.
- Robert E. Hall & Edward P. Lazear, 1982. "The Excess Sensitivity of Layoffs and Quits to Demand," NBER Working Papers 0864, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Hashimoto, Masanori, 1981. "Firm-Specific Human Capital as a Shared Investment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(3), pages 475-82, June.
- Samuelson, William F, 1984. "Bargaining under Asymmetric Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(4), pages 995-1005, July.
- Salop, S. C., 1973. "Wage differentials in a dynamic theory of the firm," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 6(4), pages 321-344, August.
- Brendan O'Flaherty & Aloysius Siow, 1992.
"On the Job Screening, up or out Rules, and Firm Growth,"
Canadian Journal of Economics,
Canadian Economics Association, vol. 25(2), pages 346-68, May.
- O'Flaherty, B. & Siow, A., 1990. "On the Job Screening, Up or Out Rules, and Firm Growth," University of Chicago - Economics Research Center 90-11, Chicago - Economics Research Center.
- Salop, Joanne & Salop, Steven, 1976. "Self-Selection and Turnover in the Labor Market," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 90(4), pages 619-27, November.
- MacLeod, W Bentley & Malcomson, James M, 1989.
"Implicit Contracts, Incentive Compatibility, and Involuntary Unemployment,"
Econometric Society, vol. 57(2), pages 447-80, March.
- W. Bentley MacLeod & James M. Malcomson, 1986. "Implicit Contracts, Incentive Compatibility, and Involuntary Unemployment," Working Papers 585, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
- Bester, Helmut, 1989. "Incentive-Compatible Long-term Contracts and Job Rationing," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 7(2), pages 238-55, April.
- Lorne Carmichael, 1983.
"Firm-Specific Human Capital and Promotion Ladders,"
Bell Journal of Economics,
The RAND Corporation, vol. 14(1), pages 251-258, Spring.
- Albrecht, James W & Jovanovic, Boyan, 1986.
"The Efficiency of Search under Competition and Monopsony,"
Journal of Political Economy,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(6), pages 1246-57, December.
- Albrecht, James & Jovanovic, Boyan, 1985. "The Efficiency of Search Under Competition and Monopsony," Working Papers 85-15, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
- Barron, John M & Black, Dan A & Loewenstein, Mark A, 1989. "Job Matching and On-the-Job Training," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 7(1), pages 1-19, January.
- Lynch, Lisa M, 1992. "Private-Sector Training and the Earnings of Young Workers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(1), pages 299-312, March.
- Dale T. Mortensen, 1978. "Specific Capital, Bargaining, and Labor Turnover," Discussion Papers 320, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
- Kuhn, P., 1995.
"Demographic groups and personnel policy,"
Elsevier, vol. 2(1), pages 101-102, March.
- Parsons, Donald O, 1972. "Specific Human Capital: An Application to Quit Rates and Layoff Rates," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 80(6), pages 1120-43, Nov.-Dec..
- Carmichael, H Lorne, 1989. "Self-Enforcing Contracts, Shirking, and Life Cycle Incentives," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 3(4), pages 65-83, Fall.
- Jovanovic, Boyan, 1979.
"Job Matching and the Theory of Turnover,"
Journal of Political Economy,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(5), pages 972-90, October.
- Joanne Salop & Steve Salop, 1976. "Self-selection and turnover in the labor market," Special Studies Papers 80, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
- Riley, John & Zeckhauser, Richard, 1983. "Optimal Selling Strategies: When to Haggle, When to Hold Firm," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 98(2), pages 267-89, May.
- Johnson, William R, 1978. "A Theory of Job Shopping," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 92(2), pages 261-78, May.
- Pencavel, John H, 1972. "Wages, Specific Training, and Labor Turnover in US Manufacturing Industries," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 13(1), pages 53-64, February.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:labeco:v:4:y:1997:i:4:p:325-340. 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: (Zhang, Lei)
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.