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Employee Replacement Costs

  • Dube, Arindrajit
  • Freeman, Eric
  • Reich, Michael

We investigate properties of employee replacement costs, using a panel survey of California businesses in 2003 and 2008. We establish that replacement costs are substantial relative to annual wages and that they are associated negatively with the use of seniority in promotion. We also find some evidence, albeit not under all specifications, that replacement costs are positively associated with establishment size, which is consistent with monopsony. Bivariate scatterplots, pooled regressions and panel-based estimates suggest a positive relationship between replacement costs and the wage. While this result is not robust, it constitutes a puzzle for hiring and separation models, such as Manning (2003). In these models, the negative wage elasticity of replacement costs is a key assumption. These results thus call for further research on employment costs models.

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Paper provided by Institute of Industrial Relations, UC Berkeley in its series Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, Working Paper Series with number qt7kc29981.

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Date of creation: 04 Mar 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cdl:indrel:qt7kc29981
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  1. O'Connell, Philip J. & Russell, Helen & FitzGerald, John, 2006. "Human Resources," Book Chapters, in: Morgenroth, Edgar (ed.), Ex-Ante Evaluation of the Investment Priorities for the National Development Plan 2007-2013 Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
  2. Daniel S. Hamermesh & Gerard A. Pfann, 1996. "Adjustment Costs in Factor Demand," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 34(3), pages 1264-1292, September.
  3. Abowd, John M. & Kramarz, Francis, 2003. "The costs of hiring and separations," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(5), pages 499-530, October.
  4. Dale T. Mortensen, 2005. "More on Unemployment and Vacancy Fluctuations," 2005 Meeting Papers 326, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  5. Manuel Toledo & Jose I. Silva, 2005. "Labor Turnover Costs and the Cyclical Behavior of Vacancies and Unemployment," 2005 Meeting Papers 775, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  6. Walter Y. Oi, 1962. "Labor as a Quasi-Fixed Factor," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 70, pages 538.
  7. Francis Kramarz & Marie-Laure Michaud, 2002. "The Shape of Hiring and Separation Costs," Working Papers 2002-38, Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistique.
  8. 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.
  9. repec:tpr:qjecon:v:108:y:1993:i:4:p:1015-42 is not listed on IDEAS
  10. Paul Osterman, 1994. "How Common is Workplace Transformation and Who Adopts it?," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 47(2), pages 173-188, January.
  11. Paul Osterman, 1994. "How common is workplace transformation and who adopts it?," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 47(2), pages 173-188, January.
  12. Mortensen, Dale T & Pissarides, Christopher, 1999. "New Developments in Models of Search in the Labour Market," CEPR Discussion Papers 2053, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  13. Alan Manning, 2001. "A Generalised Model of Monopsony," CEP Discussion Papers dp0499, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  14. Shapiro, Carl & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1984. "Equilibrium Unemployment as a Worker Discipline Device," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(3), pages 433-44, June.
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