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An examination of firms' employment costs

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  • Sarah Dolfin

Abstract

The existence of quasi-fixed costs of work may affect firms' desired employee hours and number of workers, which has important implications for the estimation of labour supply parameters. Firm-level data from the 1982 Employment Opportunity Pilot Project is used to estimate the importance to firms of employee quasi-fixed costs related to searching, hiring, training, and firing. Specifically, this paper examines how these costs affect number of workers and hours per worker, turnover, and vacancies, to the extent that the costs are determined by the firm's presumably exogenous industrial classification. An attempt is made to control for biases due to employee heterogeneity as well. Results show that higher costs are associated with lower turnover, fewer vacancies, and longer hours as predicted by a model of labour demand.

Suggested Citation

  • Sarah Dolfin, 2006. "An examination of firms' employment costs," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 38(8), pages 861-878.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:applec:v:38:y:2006:i:8:p:861-878
    DOI: 10.1080/00036840600597576
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. José I. Silva & Manuel Toledo, 2013. "The Unemployment Volatility Puzzle: The Role Of Matching Costs Revisited," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 51(1), pages 836-843, January.
    2. Carbonero, Francesco & Gartner, Hermann, 2017. "Inspecting the relation of search cost and search duration for new hires," FAU Discussion Papers in Economics 21/2017, Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Institute for Economics.
    3. Samuel Mühlemann & Mirjam Strupler Leiser, 2015. "Ten Facts You Need To Know About Hiring," Economics of Education Working Paper Series 0111, University of Zurich, Department of Business Administration (IBW), revised Sep 2015.
    4. Frederico Belo & Xiaoji Lin & Jun Li & Xiaofei Zhao, 2015. "Labor-Force Heterogeneity and Asset Prices: the Importance of Skilled Labor," NBER Working Papers 21487, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Gartner, Hermann & Merkl, Christian & Rothe, Thomas, 2012. "Sclerosis and large volatilities: Two sides of the same coin," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 117(1), pages 106-109.
    6. Braun, Sebastian & Weber, Henning, 2016. "How do regional labor markets adjust to immigration? A dynamic analysis for post-war Germany," Kiel Working Papers 2025, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    7. Valletta, Robert G. & Bengali, Leila & van der List, Catherine, 2015. "Cyclical and market determinants of involuntary part-time employment," Working Paper Series 2015-19, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
    8. Wesselbaum, Dennis, 2014. "How Large are Firing Costs? A Cross-Country Study," MPRA Paper 58762, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    9. Erik de Regt, 2009. "Hourly wages and working time in the Dutch market sector 1962-1995," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 41(6), pages 765-778.

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