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Downsizing and Heterogeneous Firing Costs

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  • Gerard A. Pfann

    (Maastricht University)

Abstract

A structural labor demand model is developed that allows for worker heterogeneity regarding firing costs and productivity. It is estimated for a firm in demise when 3,650 workers were made redundant in a restructuring following bankruptcy. This was the largest mass layoff in the history of the Netherlands. The model produces sharp predictions on how firing thresholds depend on individual worker characteristics. The signs of the estimated coefficients are consistent with these predictions. The model correctly predicts 68% of individual worker displacement. The results provide new in-depth knowledge on how firing costs influence personnel decisions. © 2006 The President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Suggested Citation

  • Gerard A. Pfann, 2006. "Downsizing and Heterogeneous Firing Costs," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 88(1), pages 158-170, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:tpr:restat:v:88:y:2006:i:1:p:158-170
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. repec:eee:jhecon:v:59:y:2018:i:c:p:78-90 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Bloemen, Hans & Hochguertel, Stefan & Zweerink, Jochem, 2018. "Job loss, firm-level heterogeneity and mortality: Evidence from administrative data," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 78-90.
    3. Kuhn, Johan Moritz, 2007. "My Pay is Too Bad (I Quit). Your Pay is Too Good (You're Fired)," Working Papers 07-5, University of Aarhus, Aarhus School of Business, Department of Economics.
    4. Gielen, A. C. & van Ours, J.C., 2006. "Why do Worker-Firm Matches Dissolve?," Discussion Paper 2006-57, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
    5. Blatter, Marc & Muehlemann, Samuel & Schenker, Samuel, 2012. "The costs of hiring skilled workers," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 56(1), pages 20-35.
    6. B. Kriechel & G. A. Pfann, 2013. "Workforce reorganization and the worker," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 45(13), pages 1719-1729, May.
    7. repec:eee:irlaec:v:54:y:2018:i:c:p:85-94 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Morten Henningsen & Torbjørn Hægeland, 2008. "Downsizing as a sorting device. Are low-productive workers more likely to leave downsizing firms?," Discussion Papers 543, Statistics Norway, Research Department.
    9. Per Skedinger, 2010. "Employment Protection Legislation," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 13686.
    10. Nicolae Stef, 2017. "Bankruptcy and the difficulty of firing," EconomiX Working Papers 2017-26, University of Paris Nanterre, EconomiX.
    11. Pfann Gerard A. & Hamermesh Daniel S., 2008. "Two-Sided Learning with Applications to Labor Turnover and Worker Displacement," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 228(5-6), pages 423-445, October.
    12. Kramarz, Francis & Michaud, Marie-Laure, 2010. "The shape of hiring and separation costs in France," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 27-37, January.
    13. Van Vliet, Olaf & Nijboer, Henk, 2012. "Flexicurity in the European Union: flexibility for outsiders, security for insiders," MPRA Paper 37012, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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