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Fixed-term Contracts and Unemployment: an Efficiency Wage Analysis

  • Maia Güell

I analyze the effects of introducing fixed-term contracts, leaving existing labor market regulations unchanged, on unemployment and labor market segmentation. I use an efficiency wage model in which the firm's choice of contracts and the renewal rate of fixed-term contracts into permanent ones are endogenous. The renewal rate of fixed-term contracts is lower the higher the firing costs of permanent contracts are. Introducing fixed-term contracts can imply higher unemployment even in a world where reducing firing costs would reduce it. Moreover, when the two-tier system does not generate higher employment compared to the system with only permanent contracts, the segmentation of the labor market is socially too large.

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Paper provided by Barcelona Graduate School of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 18.

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Date of creation: Jul 2003
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Handle: RePEc:bge:wpaper:18
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  1. Lawrence F. Katz, 1986. "Efficiency Wage Theories: A Partial Evaluation," NBER Working Papers 1906, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Belot, M.V.K. & van Ours, J.C., 2000. "Does the Recent Success of some OECD Countries in Lowering their Unemployment Rates lie in the Clever Design of their Labour Market Reforms?," Discussion Paper 2000-40, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  3. George A. Akerlof & Lawrence F. Katz, 1988. "Workers' Trust Funds and the Logic of Wage Profiles," NBER Working Papers 2548, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Bentolila, Samuel & Saint-Paul, Gilles, 1992. "The macroeconomic impact of flexible labor contracts, with an application to Spain," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 36(5), pages 1013-1047, June.
  5. Dominique Goux & Eric Maurin & Marianne Pauchet, 1999. "Fixed-term Contracts and the Dynamics of Labour Demand," Working Papers 99-02, Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistique.
  6. Juan F. Jimeno & Luis Toharia, 1993. "The effects of fixed-term employment on wages: theory and evidence from Spain," Investigaciones Economicas, Fundación SEPI, vol. 17(3), pages 475-494, September.
  7. Olympia Bover & Pilar García-Perea & Pedro Portugal, 2000. "Labour market outliers: Lessons from Portugal and Spain," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 15(31), pages 379-428, October.
  8. César Alonso-Borrego & Jesús Fernández-Villaverde & José E. Galdón-Sánchez, 2005. "Evaluating Labor Market Reforms: A General Equilibrium Approach," NBER Working Papers 11519, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Bertola, Giuseppe, 1991. "Labour Turnover Costs and Average Labour Demand," CEPR Discussion Papers 601, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. Maia Güell & Barbara Petrongolo, 2000. "Workers Transitions from Temporary to Permanent Employment: the Spanish Case," CEP Discussion Papers dp0438, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  11. Lazear, Edward P, 1990. "Job Security Provisions and Employment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 105(3), pages 699-726, August.
  12. Bentolila, S. & Saint-Paul, G., 1991. "The Macroeconomic Impact of Flexibility Labor Contracts with an Application to Spain," DELTA Working Papers 91-22, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
  13. Bentolila, Samuel & Bertola, Giuseppe, 1990. "Firing Costs and Labour Demand: How Bad Is Eurosclerosis?," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 57(3), pages 381-402, July.
  14. Cabrales, Antonio & Hopenhayn, Hugo A., 1997. "Labor-market flexibility and aggregate employment volatility," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 189-228, June.
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