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Layoffs and Litigation

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  • Paul Oyer
  • Scott Schaefer

Abstract

We study a possible link between two recent U.S. labor market trends: increased wrongful termination litigation and more frequent mass layoffs. We argue that if workers are more likely to sue when fired than when dismissed as part of a layoff, then increases in the expected costs to firms of such suits should induce substitution toward layoffs and away from individual firings. Our empirical analysis supports this assertion, showing that shortly after the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1991, the methods of displacement changed differently by race but changes to the overall level of displacement were consistent across races.

Suggested Citation

  • Paul Oyer & Scott Schaefer, 2000. "Layoffs and Litigation," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 31(2), pages 345-358, Summer.
  • Handle: RePEc:rje:randje:v:31:y:2000:i:summer:p:345-358
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    Cited by:

    1. Kugler, Adriana & Pica, Giovanni, 2003. "Effects of Employment Protection and Product Market Regulations on the Italian Labor Market," IZA Discussion Papers 948, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. William J. Carrington, 2015. "Do We Know Why Earnings Fall with Job Displacement? Working Paper: 2015-01," Working Papers 49908, Congressional Budget Office.
    3. Adriana Kugler & Juan F. Jimeno & Virginia Hernanz, "undated". "Employment Consequences of Restrictive Permanent Contracts: Evidence from Spanish Labor Market Reforms," Working Papers 2003-14, FEDEA.
    4. Bell, David & Heitmueller, Axel, 2009. "The Disability Discrimination Act in the UK: Helping or hindering employment among the disabled?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 465-480, March.
    5. Pedro S. Martins, 2009. "Dismissals for Cause: The Difference That Just Eight Paragraphs Can Make," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 27(2), pages 257-279, April.
    6. Kugler, Adriana & Pica, Giovanni, 2003. "The effects of employment protection and product market regulations on the Italian labor market," Discussion Paper Series In Economics And Econometrics 0310, Economics Division, School of Social Sciences, University of Southampton.
    7. David H. Autor, 2000. "Outsourcing at Will: Unjust Dismissal Doctrine and the Growth of Temporary Help Employment," JCPR Working Papers 153, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
    8. Daron Acemoglu & Joshua D. Angrist, 2001. "Consequences of Employment Protection? The Case of the Americans with Disabilities Act," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 109(5), pages 915-957, October.
    9. Paul Oyer & Scott Schaefer, 2002. "Litigation Costs and Returns to Experience," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(3), pages 683-705, June.
    10. Oyer, Paul & Schaefer, Scott, 2002. "Sorting, Quotas, and the Civil Rights Act of 1991: Who Hires When It's Hard to Fire?," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 45(1), pages 41-68, April.
    11. Luojia Hu & Christopher Taber, 2011. "Displacement, Asymmetric Information, and HeterogeneousHuman Capital," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 29(1), pages 113-152, January.
    12. Eguchi Kyota, 2008. "Damages or Reinstatement: Incentives and Remedies for Unjust Dismissal," Review of Law & Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 4(1), pages 443-474, December.
    13. Oyer, Paul & Schaefer, Scott, 2011. "Personnel Economics: Hiring and Incentives," Handbook of Labor Economics, Elsevier.
    14. Kugler, Adriana & Pica, Giovanni, 2008. "Effects of employment protection on worker and job flows: Evidence from the 1990 Italian reform," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 78-95, February.
    15. Nicolae Stef, 2017. "Bankruptcy and the difficulty of firing," EconomiX Working Papers 2017-26, University of Paris Nanterre, EconomiX.
    16. Edward P. Lazear & Paul Oyer, 2012. "Personnel Economics," Introductory Chapters,in: Robert Gibbons & John Roberts (ed.), The Handbook of Organizational Economics Princeton University Press.
    17. Edward P. Lazear, 1995. "Personnel Economics," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262121883, January.
    18. David H. Autor & John J. Donohue & Stewart J. Schwab, 2006. "The Costs of Wrongful-Discharge Laws," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 88(2), pages 211-231, May.
    19. Andrea Vindigni & Simone Scotti & Cristina Tealdi, 2015. "Uncertainty and the Politics of Employment Protection," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 33(1), pages 209-267.
    20. Adriana D. Kugler, 2004. "The Effect of Job Security Regulations on Labor Market Flexibility. Evidence from the Colombian Labor Market Reform," NBER Chapters,in: Law and Employment: Lessons from Latin America and the Caribbean, pages 183-228 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    21. Kugler, Adriana D. & Pica, Giovanni, 2005. "Effects of Employment Protection on Worker and Job Flows: Evidence from the 1990 Italian Reform," CEPR Discussion Papers 5256, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    22. Gerard A. Pfann, 2001. "Downsizing," Working Papers 0110, Harris School of Public Policy Studies, University of Chicago.
    23. Carrington, William J. & Fallick, Bruce C., 2014. "Why Do Earnings Fall with Job Displacement?," Working Paper 1405, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
    24. Henri Fraisse & Francis Kramarz & Corinne Prost, 2015. "Labor Disputes and Job Flows," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 68(5), pages 1043-1077, October.
    25. Robert C. Bird & John D. Knopf, 2009. "Do Wrongful-Discharge Laws Impair Firm Performance?," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 52(2), pages 197-222, May.

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