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The role and significance of endogenous firing costs in a matching model with endogenous job destruction

  • Saltari, Enrico
  • Tilli, Riccardo

Traditional models of the labor market assume fixed firing costs. This paper explores the implications of variable firing costs, building this new assumption into a matching model with endogenous job destruction. The available evidence on the outcomes of cases brought to labor courts suggests that firing costs are negatively related with labor market tightness. In such a case, we may no longer invoke "rigidities" on labor markets as the cause of their poor performance. Our model yields three interesting results. First, labor markets may have multiple equilibria that cannot be Pareto-ordered; each with its own configuration in terms of average duration of unemployment and filled jobs, as well as employment protection. Second, the variability of firing costs produces a positive externality affecting the stability properties of these equilibria. Finally, the two externalities affect the efficiency of the social optimum, modifying the Hosios [Hosios, A.J., 1990. On the efficiency of matching and related models of search and unemployment. Review of Economic Studies 57, 279-298] condition. We use these results to interpret the recent history of European unemployment.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics).

Volume (Year): 38 (2009)
Issue (Month): 5 (October)
Pages: 799-808

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Handle: RePEc:eee:soceco:v:38:y:2009:i:5:p:799-808
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/620175

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  1. Usui, Emiko, 2007. "Severance payments in equilibrium unemployment," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 94(3), pages 342-347, March.
  2. Hosios, Arthur J, 1990. "On the Efficiency of Matching and Related Models of Search and Unemployment," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 57(2), pages 279-98, April.
  3. Olivier L'Haridon & Franck Malherbet, 2008. "Employment Protection Reform in Search Economies," THEMA Working Papers 2008-26, THEMA (THéorie Economique, Modélisation et Applications), Université de Cergy-Pontoise.
  4. Pierre Cahuc & André Zylberberg, 2008. "Optimum income taxation and layoff taxes," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) halshs-00255794, HAL.
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  8. Blanchard, Olivier Jean & Summers, Lawrence H, 1988. "Beyond the Natural Rate Hypothesis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(2), pages 182-87, May.
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  10. Mortensen, Dale T & Pissarides, Christopher A, 1994. "Job Creation and Job Destruction in the Theory of Unemployment," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 61(3), pages 397-415, July.
  11. Olivier Blanchard, 2005. "European Unemployment: The Evolution of Facts and Ideas," NBER Working Papers 11750, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Siegelman, Peter & Donohue, John J, III, 1995. "The Selection of Employment Discrimination Disputes for Litigation: Using Business Cycle Effects to Test the Priest-Klein Hypothesis," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 24(2), pages 427-62, June.
  13. Mortensen, Dale T & Pissarides, Christopher, 1999. "New Developments in Models of Search in the Labour Market," CEPR Discussion Papers 2053, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  14. Stephen Nickell & Luca Nunziata & Wolfgang Ochel, 2005. "Unemployment in the OECD Since the 1960s. What Do We Know?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 115(500), pages 1-27, 01.
  15. 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 242-65, April.
  16. Andrea Ichino & Michele Polo & Enrico Rettore, . "Are Judges Biased by Labor Market Conditions?," Working Papers 192, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  17. Bjoern Bruegemann, 2007. "The Joint Effect of Firing Costs on Employment and Productivity in Search and Matching Models," 2007 Meeting Papers 684, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  18. Riccardo Tilli & Enrico Saltari, 2008. "Do labor market conditions affect the strictness of employment protection legislation?," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 10(4), pages 1-9.
  19. Frédéric GAVREL & Isabelle LEBON, 2008. "Firing Costs, Payroll Taxes and Unemployement," Annales d'Economie et de Statistique, ENSAE, issue 89, pages 121-129.
  20. Christopher A. Pissarides, 2000. "Equilibrium Unemployment Theory, 2nd Edition," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262161877, June.
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