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Plant Closings: Is WARN an Effective Response?


  • Oren Levin-Waldman


Congress has sought to address the issue of transitional economies through the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN), which is supposed to provide workers and their communities with advance notice of a shutdown. With advance notice, workers can then plan for the closure and avail themselves of the transitional type services available under other programs. By this theory, then, WARN might be viewed as a stepping stone in the direction of a more comprehensive employment policy. This, however, presupposes that the states administering other programs through their Dislocated Worker Units (DWU) are actually receiving accurate information closures and compliance with WARN in their jurisdiction. In this paper, I examine WARN both in theory and in practice. Data drawn from surveys conducted of DWUs suggests that the information we have about closure, its impact, and WARN is uneven, and therefore does not easily lend itself to a clear policy path.

Suggested Citation

  • Oren Levin-Waldman, 1998. "Plant Closings: Is WARN an Effective Response?," Review of Social Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 56(1), pages 59-79.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:rsocec:v:56:y:1998:i:1:p:59-79
    DOI: 10.1080/00346769800000005

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