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Individual dismissals in Europe and the United States: A model on the influence of the legal framework on firing costs

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Abstract

In this article, we present a model of individual dismissals based on the workers' right to file a suit against their employer arguing that the dismissal is unjustified or unfair. The model is a standard pre-trial bargaining game between a firm and a worker. We study two cases: when the law states the severance pay for unfair dismissal (the European case), and when judges can decide freely on the compensation to be paid to the worker (the American case). The model provides some guidelines for Labour Law reforms. In the European case, a decrease in the severance pay for unfair dismissals fixed by law will decrease the severance pay offered by the firm, and only under some assumptions will decrease the expected firing cost and will increase the settlement probability. In addition, the transition from the European to the American case is likely to increase the probability of settlement (and to decrease it in the opposite case) with ambiguous effects on agreed severance pay and expected firing costs.

Suggested Citation

  • Malo, M.A aand Joaquin Pérez., 2002. "Individual dismissals in Europe and the United States: A model on the influence of the legal framework on firing costs," Doctorado en Economía- documentos de trabajo 9/02, Programa de doctorado en Economía. Universidad de Alcalá..
  • Handle: RePEc:alc:alcddt:9/02
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Bertola, Giuseppe, 1990. "Job security, employment and wages," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 34(4), pages 851-879, June.
    2. Emerson, Michael, 1988. "Regulation or deregulation of the labour market : Policy regimes for the recruitment and dismissal of employees in the industrialised countries," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 32(4), pages 775-817, April.
    3. Bentolila, S. & Saint-Paul, G., 1995. "A model of labour demand with linear adjustment costs," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 2(1), pages 105-105, March.
    4. William M. Landes, 1974. "An Economic Analysis of the Courts," NBER Chapters,in: Essays in the Economics of Crime and Punishment, pages 164-214 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Lucian Arye Bebchuk, 1984. "Litigation and Settlement under Imperfect Information," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 15(3), pages 404-415, Autumn.
    6. Simon Deakin & Frank Wilkinson, 1999. "The Management of Redundancies in Europe: The Case of Great Britain," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 13(1), pages 41-89, March.
    7. Miguel Malo, 2001. "European Labour Law and Severance Pay Determination in Collective Redundancies," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 12(1), pages 73-90, July.
    8. 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.
    9. Miguel Á. Malo, 2000. "A Simple Model of Severance Pay Determination: The Case of Individual Dismissals in Spain," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 14(2), pages 269-290, June.
    10. Walter Y. Oi, 1962. "Labor as a Quasi-Fixed Factor," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 70, pages 538-538.
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    Cited by:

    1. Christian Grund, 2006. "Severance payments for dismissed employees in Germany," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 22(1), pages 49-71, July.
    2. Miguel Á. Malo & Ángel Martín-Román & Alfonso Moral, 2018. "“Peer effects” or “quasi-peer effects” in Spanish labour court rulings," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 45(3), pages 497-525, June.
    3. repec:got:cegedp:87 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Pilar García-Martínez & Miguel Malo, 2007. "The strategic use of dismissal legislation: an empirical analysis using Spanish data," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 23(2), pages 151-167, April.
    5. Christian Grund, 2004. "Severance Payments for Dismissed Employees Severance Payments for Dismissed Employees in Germany," Bonn Econ Discussion Papers bgse4_2004, University of Bonn, Germany.
    6. Frick, Bernd & Malo, Miguel A. & Garcia Martinez, Pilar & Schneider, Martin, 2012. "The Demand for Individual Grievance Procedures in Germany and Spain: Labour Law Changes versus Business Cycle/La demanda de reclamaciones laborales individuales en Alemania y España: Derecho Laboral v," Estudios de Economía Aplicada, Estudios de Economía Aplicada, vol. 30, pages 283-310, Abril.
    7. Goerke, Laszlo & Pannenberg, Markus, 2010. "An economic analysis of dismissal legislation: Determinants of severance pay in West Germany," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 71-85, March.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    dismissal; individual dismissal; severance pay; firing costs; Labour Law;

    JEL classification:

    • K31 - Law and Economics - - Other Substantive Areas of Law - - - Labor Law
    • J65 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment Insurance; Severance Pay; Plant Closings
    • J32 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Nonwage Labor Costs and Benefits; Retirement Plans; Private Pensions

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