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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
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  1. L'Haridon, Olivier & Malherbet, Franck, 2006. "Employment Protection Reform in Search Economies," IZA Discussion Papers 2304, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Cahuc, Pierre & Malherbet, Franck, 2002. "Unemployment Compensation Finance and Labour Market Rigidity," CEPR Discussion Papers 3512, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Dale T. Mortensen & Christopher A. Pissarides, 1993. "Job Creation and Job Destruction in the Theory of Unemployment," CEP Discussion Papers dp0110, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  4. Ichino, Andrea & Polo, Michele & Rettore, Enrico, 2003. "Are judges biased by labor market conditions?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 47(5), pages 913-944, October.
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  6. Christopher A. Pissarides, 2000. "Equilibrium Unemployment Theory, 2nd Edition," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262161877, December.
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  8. 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.
  9. Cahuc, Pierre & Zylberberg, André, 2008. "Optimum income taxation and layoff taxes," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(10-11), pages 2003-2019, October.
  10. Mortensen, Dale T. & Pissarides, Christopher A., 1999. "New developments in models of search in the labor market," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 39, pages 2567-2627 Elsevier.
  11. Garibaldi, Pietro & Violante, Giovanni L, 2004. "The Employment Effects of Severance Payments with Wage Rigidities," CEPR Discussion Papers 4608, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  12. 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.
  13. repec:adr:anecst:y:2008:i:89:p:04 is not listed on IDEAS
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. Usui, Emiko, 2007. "Severance payments in equilibrium unemployment," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 94(3), pages 342-347, March.
  17. Gilles Saint-Paul, 1995. "The High Unemployment Trap," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 110(2), pages 527-550.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
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