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Optimal Coexistence of Long-term and Short-term contracts in Labor Markets

  • Inés Macho-Stadler

    ()

  • David Pérez-Castrillo

    ()

  • Nicolás Porteiro

    ()

We consider a market where firms hire workers to run their projects and such projects differ in profitability. At any period, each firm needs two workers to suc- cessfully run its project: a junior agent, with no specific skills, and a senior worker, whose effort is not verifiable. Senior workers differ in ability and their competence is revealed after they have worked as juniors in the market. We study the length of the contractual relationships between firms and workers in an environment where the matching between firms and workers is the result of market interaction. We show that, despite in a one-firm-one-worker set-up long-term contracts are the op- timal choice for firms, market forces often induce firms to use short-term contracts. Unless the market only consists of firms with very profitable projects, firms oper- ating highly profitable projects offer short-term contracts to ensure the service of high-ability workers and those with less lucrative projects also use short-term contracts to save on the junior workers' wage. Intermediate firms may (or may not) hire workers through long-term contracts.

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Paper provided by Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC) in its series UFAE and IAE Working Papers with number 872.11.

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Length: 41
Date of creation: 05 May 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:aub:autbar:872.11
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  1. Suman Ghosh & Michael Waldman, 2006. "Standard Promotion Practices Versus Up-Or-Out Contracts," Working Papers 06007, Department of Economics, College of Business, Florida Atlantic University.
  2. Chiappori, Pierre-Andre & Macho, Ines & Rey, Patrick & Salanie, Bernard, 1994. "Repeated moral hazard: The role of memory, commitment, and the access to credit markets," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 38(8), pages 1527-1553, October.
  3. Patrick Legros & Andrew F. Newman, 2007. "Beauty Is a Beast, Frog Is a Prince: Assortative Matching with Nontransferabilities," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 75(4), pages 1073-1102, 07.
  4. Eng Loh, 1994. "Employment probation as a sorting mechanism," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 47(3), pages 471-486, April.
  5. Rogerson, William P, 1985. "Repeated Moral Hazard," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 53(1), pages 69-76, January.
  6. Konstantinos Serfes, 2008. "Endogenous matching in a market with heterogeneous principals and agents," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer, vol. 36(3), pages 587-619, March.
  7. Matutes, Carmen & Regibeau, Pierre & Rockett, Katharine, 1994. "Compensation Schemes and Labor Market Competition: Piece Rate versus Wage Rate," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 3(2), pages 325-53, Summer.
  8. Marko Tervi�, 2009. "Superstars and Mediocrities: Market Failure in the Discovery of Talent -super-1," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 76(2), pages 829-850.
  9. Ghatak, Maitreesh & Morelli, Massimo & Sjostrom, Tomas, 2001. "Occupational Choice and Dynamic Incentives," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 68(4), pages 781-810, October.
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