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Do Larger Severance Payments Increase Individual Job Duration?

  • Pietro Garibaldi
  • Lia Pacelli

This paper analyzes the effect of severance payments on the probability of separation at given tenure, wages and other individual and firm characteristics. It studies a mandatory deferred wage scheme of the Italian labour market (Trattamento di Fine Rapporto, TFR). Deferred wages increase job duration if two conditions hold: wages are rigidly set outside the employer-employee relationship, and past provisions are accumulated at interest rates that are below market rates. Under such circumstances, workers who withdraw from their accumulated stock of unpaid wages should experience, at given tenure, a subsequent increase in the probability of separation. This prediction appears empirically robust and quantitatively sizeable. A withdrawal of 60% of the TFR stock 60% of the TFR stock (the median observed withdrawal) increases the instantaneous hazard rate by almost 20%. In other words, an individual with at least ten years of tenure that experiences an early withdrawal increases his/her hazard rate from 10% to about 12%. The empirical result takes into account the existence of unobserved heterogeneity and a variety of further robustness tests.

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Paper provided by Collegio Carlo Alberto in its series Carlo Alberto Notebooks with number 39.

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Length: 39 pages
Date of creation: 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cca:wpaper:39
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  1. Joel Horowitz & Sokbae Lee, 2002. "Semiparametric estimation of a panel data proportional hazards model with fixed effects," CeMMAP working papers CWP21/02, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  2. Garibaldi, Pietro & Violante, Giovanni L, 2004. "The Employment Effects of Severance Payments with Wage Rigidities," CEPR Discussion Papers 4608, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Devicienti, Francesco & Maida, Agata & Pacelli, Lia, 2008. "The resurrection of the Italian wage curve," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 98(3), pages 335-341, March.
  4. Jenkins, Stephen P, 1995. "Easy Estimation Methods for Discrete-Time Duration Models," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 57(1), pages 129-38, February.
  5. Lazear, Edward P, 1990. "Job Security Provisions and Employment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 105(3), pages 699-726, August.
  6. Ichino, Andrea & Polo, Michele & Rettore, Enrico, 2003. "Are judges biased by labor market conditions?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 47(5), pages 913-944, October.
  7. Garibaldi, Pietro & Pacelli, Lia & Borgarello, Andrea, 2003. "Employment Protection Legislation and the Size of Firms," IZA Discussion Papers 787, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. Hopenhayn, Hugo & Rogerson, Richard, 1993. "Job Turnover and Policy Evaluation: A General Equilibrium Analysis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(5), pages 915-38, October.
  9. 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.
  10. Farber, Henry S., 1999. "Mobility and stability: The dynamics of job change in labor markets," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 37, pages 2439-2483 Elsevier.
  11. Jaap H. Abbring & Gerard J. van den Berg, 2003. "The Nonparametric Identification of Treatment Effects in Duration Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(5), pages 1491-1517, 09.
  12. Lars Ljungqvist, 2002. "How Do Lay--off Costs Affect Employment?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(482), pages 829-853, October.
  13. Bertola, Giuseppe, 1999. "Microeconomic perspectives on aggregate labor markets," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 45, pages 2985-3028 Elsevier.
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