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A Pure Theory of Job Security and Labour Income Risk

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  • Giuseppe Bertola

Abstract

Models of labour market equilibrium where forward-looking decisions maximize both profits and labour income on a risk-neutral basis offer valuable insights into the effects of employment protection legislation. Since risk-neutral behaviour in the labour market presumes perfect insurance, however, job security provisions plays no useful role in such models. This paper studies a stylized model of dynamic labour market interactions where labour reallocation costs are partly financed by uninsured workers' consumption flows. In the resulting second-best equilibrium, provisions that shift labour reallocation costs to risk-neutral employers can increase productive efficiency if their administrative dead-weight costs are not too large, and increase workers' welfare as long as employers' firing costs at least partly finance workers' mobility. Copyright 2004, Wiley-Blackwell.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:restud:v:71:y:2004:i:1:p:43-61
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1111/0034-6527.00275
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    1. Bertola, Giuseppe, 1999. "Microeconomic perspectives on aggregate labor markets," Handbook of Labor Economics,in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 45, pages 2985-3028 Elsevier.
    2. Bertola, Giuseppe, 1994. "Flexibility, investment, and growth," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(2), pages 215-238, October.
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    4. Attanasio, Orazio & Davis, Steven J, 1996. "Relative Wage Movements and the Distribution of Consumption," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(6), pages 1227-1262, December.
    5. Bertola, Giuseppe, 1992. "Labor Turnover Costs and Average Labor Demand," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 10(4), pages 389-411, October.
    6. Edward P. Lazear, 1990. "Job Security Provisions and Employment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 105(3), pages 699-726.
    7. Samuel Bentolila & Giuseppe Bertola, 1990. "Firing Costs and Labour Demand: How Bad is Eurosclerosis?," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 57(3), pages 381-402.
    8. Edi Karni, 1999. "Optimal Unemployment Insurance: A Survey," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 66(2), pages 442-465, October.
    9. Topel, Robert H, 1986. "Local Labor Markets," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(3), pages 111-143, June.
    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. Flemming, J. S., 1978. "Aspects of optimal unemployment insurance : Search, leisure, savings and capital market imperfections," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(3), pages 403-425, December.
    12. Hopenhayn, Hugo & Rogerson, Richard, 1993. "Job Turnover and Policy Evaluation: A General Equilibrium Analysis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(5), pages 915-938, October.
    13. Fernando Alvarez & Marcelo Veracierto, 1998. "Search, self-insurance and job-security provisions," Working Paper Series WP-98-2, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
    14. Lucas, Robert Jr. & Prescott, Edward C., 1974. "Equilibrium search and unemployment," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 7(2), pages 188-209, February.
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    JEL classification:

    • D30 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - General
    • D60 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - General

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