IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/soceco/v38y2009i1p104-114.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

The demand for job protection: Some clues from behavioural economics

Author

Listed:
  • D'Orlando, Fabio
  • Ferrante, Francesco

Abstract

Radical differences in labour market regulations among countries that in other institutional respects are quite similar are still surprisingly frequent. Nonetheless, traditional theoretical analysis meets enormous difficulties in explaining these differences. The scope of our paper is to show that some clues from behavioural economics could be used to better theoretically treat this problem. Our argument is that workers are different, due to the effects of both culture and education. In particular, building on empirical evidence, we argue that loss aversion and hedonic adaptation are culturally-determined and country-specific aptitudes and that they may help explaining why workers, either employed or unemployed, ask for job protection and are willing to pay the cost of it. The main conclusion of our analysis is that, for poorly educated workers sharing a fatalist view of life, job protection can be more effective than public social expenditure. As a consequence, we suggest that countries with a poorly educated and fatalist workforce will be more prone to offer protection through job protection rather than public social expenditure, which is exactly what the empirical evidence shows.

Suggested Citation

  • D'Orlando, Fabio & Ferrante, Francesco, 2009. "The demand for job protection: Some clues from behavioural economics," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 104-114, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:soceco:v:38:y:2009:i:1:p:104-114
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/B6W5H-4TF7C9R-2/2/cf73a829570a5fbd1cee94e3eedc3f6c
    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

    as
    1. Rabin, Matthew, 2002. "A perspective on psychology and economics," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(4-5), pages 657-685, May.
    2. Bertola, Giuseppe & Rogerson, Richard, 1997. "Institutions and labor reallocation," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 41(6), pages 1147-1171, June.
    3. Jack L. Knetsch & J. A. Sinden, 1984. "Willingness to Pay and Compensation Demanded: Experimental Evidence of an Unexpected Disparity in Measures of Value," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 99(3), pages 507-521.
    4. Agell, Jonas & Lommerud, Kjell Erik, 1993. " Egalitarianism and Growth," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 95(4), pages 559-579, December.
    5. Roland Benabou & Efe A. Ok, 2001. "Social Mobility and the Demand for Redistribution: The Poum Hypothesis," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(2), pages 447-487.
    6. Rafael Di Tella & Robert J. MacCulloch & Andrew J. Oswald, 2003. "The Macroeconomics of Happiness," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 85(4), pages 809-827, November.
    7. Giuseppe Nicoletti & Stefano Scarpetta & Olivier Boylaud, 2000. "Summary Indicators of Product Market Regulation with an Extension to Employment Protection Legislation," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 226, OECD Publishing.
    8. Acemoglu, Daron, 2001. "Good Jobs versus Bad Jobs," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 19(1), pages 1-21, January.
    9. Bruno S. Frey & Alois Stutzer, 2002. "What Can Economists Learn from Happiness Research?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 40(2), pages 402-435, June.
    10. Andrew Clark & Fabien Postel-Vinay, 2009. "Job security and job protection," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 61(2), pages 207-239, April.
    11. Charles F. Manski & John D. Straub, 2000. "Worker Perceptions of Job Insecurity in the Mid-1990s: Evidence from the Survey of Economic Expectations," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 35(3), pages 447-479.
    12. Giuseppe Bertola, 2004. "A Pure Theory of Job Security and Labour Income Risk," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 71(1), pages 43-61.
    13. Daron Acemoglu & Robert Shimer, 1999. "Efficient Unemployment Insurance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(5), pages 893-928, October.
    14. Agell, Jonas, 1999. "On the Benefits from Rigid Labour Markets: Norms, Market Failures, and Social Insurance," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(453), pages 143-164, February.
    15. Robert J. MacCulloch & Rafael Di Tella & Andrew J. Oswald, 2001. "Preferences over Inflation and Unemployment: Evidence from Surveys of Happiness," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(1), pages 335-341, March.
    16. Di Tella, Rafael & Haisken-De New, John & MacCulloch, Robert, 2010. "Happiness adaptation to income and to status in an individual panel," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 76(3), pages 834-852, December.
    17. Gadi Barlevy, 2004. "The Cost of Business Cycles and the Benefits of Stabilization: A Survey," NBER Working Papers 10926, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    18. Diamond, Peter A, 1981. "Mobility Costs, Frictional Unemployment, and Efficiency," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(4), pages 798-812, August.
    19. Kahneman, Daniel & Tversky, Amos, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(2), pages 263-291, March.
    20. Samuelson, William & Zeckhauser, Richard, 1988. "Status Quo Bias in Decision Making," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 7-59, March.
    21. Clark, Andrew E & Oswald, Andrew J, 1994. "Unhappiness and Unemployment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 104(424), pages 648-659, May.
    22. Kahneman, Daniel & Knetsch, Jack L & Thaler, Richard H, 1990. "Experimental Tests of the Endowment Effect and the Coase Theorem," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(6), pages 1325-1348, December.
    23. Daniel Kahneman & Jack L. Knetsch & Richard H. Thaler, 1991. "Anomalies: The Endowment Effect, Loss Aversion, and Status Quo Bias," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 5(1), pages 193-206, Winter.
    24. Jean-Paul Fitoussi & David Jestaz & Edmund S. Phelps & Gylfi Zoega, 2000. "Roots of the Recent Recoveries: Labor Reforms or Private Sector Forces?," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 31(1), pages 237-311.
    25. Melissa Osborne & Herbert Gintis & Samuel Bowles, 2001. "The Determinants of Earnings: A Behavioral Approach," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 39(4), pages 1137-1176, December.
    26. Knetsch, Jack L, 1989. "The Endowment Effect and Evidence of Nonreversible Indifference Curves," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(5), pages 1277-1284, December.
    27. Amos Tversky & Daniel Kahneman, 1991. "Loss Aversion in Riskless Choice: A Reference-Dependent Model," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(4), pages 1039-1061.
    28. Tito Boeri & Pietro Garibaldi, 2007. "Two Tier Reforms of Employment Protection: a Honeymoon Effect?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(521), pages 357-385, June.
    29. Olivier Blanchard & Augustin Landier, 2001. "The Perverse Effects of Partial Labor Market Reform: Fixed Duration Contracts in France," NBER Working Papers 8219, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    30. Gilles Saint-Paul, 1993. "On the Political Economy of Labor Market Flexibility," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1993, Volume 8, pages 151-196 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    31. Saint-Paul, Gilles, 1997. "Is labour rigidity harming Europe's competitiveness? The effect of job protection on the pattern of trade and welfare," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 41(3-5), pages 499-506, April.
    32. Luigi Guiso & Paola Sapienza & Luigi Zingales, 2006. "Does Culture Affect Economic Outcomes?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(2), pages 23-48, Spring.
    33. Richard Freeman, 2005. "Labour market institutions without blinders: The debate over flexibility and labour market performance," International Economic Journal, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 19(2), pages 129-145.
    34. Roland Benabou, 2000. "Unequal Societies: Income Distribution and the Social Contract," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(1), pages 96-129, March.
    35. Varian, Hal R., 1980. "Redistributive taxation as social insurance," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 49-68, August.
    36. Fernandez, Raquel & Rodrik, Dani, 1991. "Resistance to Reform: Status Quo Bias in the Presence of Individual-Specific Uncertainty," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(5), pages 1146-1155, December.
    37. Raymond S. Hartman & Michael J. Doane & Chi-Keung Woo, 1991. "Consumer Rationality and the Status Quo," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(1), pages 141-162.
    38. Christopher J. Flinn, 2002. "Labour Market Structure and Inequality: A Comparison of Italy and the U.S," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 69(3), pages 611-645.
    39. Robert E. Lucas Jr., 2003. "Macroeconomic Priorities," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 1-14, March.
    40. Winkelmann, Liliana & Winkelmann, Rainer, 1998. "Why Are the Unemployed So Unhappy? Evidence from Panel Data," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 65(257), pages 1-15, February.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

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


    Cited by:

    1. Fabio D’Orlando, 2011. "The Demand for Pornography," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 12(1), pages 51-75, March.
    2. D'Orlando, Fabio & Ferrante, Francesco, 2015. "The benefits of stabilization policies revisited," MPRA Paper 67321, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. D'Orlando, Fabio & Ferrante, Francesco & Ruiu, Gabriele, 2011. "Culturally based beliefs and labor market institutions," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 40(2), pages 150-162, April.
    4. D'Orlando, Fabio, 2010. "Swinger economics," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 39(2), pages 295-305, April.
    5. Debora Di Gioacchino & Laura Sabani, 2009. "The Politics of Social Protection: Social Expenditure versus Markets' Regulation," Working Papers 116, University of Rome La Sapienza, Department of Public Economics.
    6. Di Gioacchino, Debora & Sabani, Laura & Tedeschi, Simone, 2014. "Preferences for social protection: Theory and empirics," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 629-644.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Employment protection legislation Behavioural economics Loss aversion Endowment effect Hedonic adaptation Redistribution;

    JEL classification:

    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • D7 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making
    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • J58 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining - - - Public Policy

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    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:soceco:v:38:y:2009:i:1:p:104-114. 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: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/620175 .

    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.