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Quitting Externalities, Employment Cyclicality and Firing Costs

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  • Booth, Alison L
  • Zoega, Gylfi

Abstract

This paper derives a model in which workers have firm-specific and industry-specific skills, and in each period there is a non-zero probability that a worker quits. This makes the private discount factor, used by firms in making decisions about hiring and training new workers and firing existing ones, higher than the social one. As a consequence, not only do firms underinvest in training but employment becomes too cyclical. Firms are too quick to dispose of their human capital in a cyclical downturn because it is of less value to them than it is to society. This provides a rationale for state-mandated redundancy payments as a second-best remedy to overcome the market failure.

Suggested Citation

  • Booth, Alison L & Zoega, Gylfi, 1994. "Quitting Externalities, Employment Cyclicality and Firing Costs," CEPR Discussion Papers 1101, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:1101
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    File URL: http://www.cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=1101
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Yu-Fu Chen & Dennis Snower & Gylfi Zoega, 2003. "Labour-market Institutions and Macroeconomic Shocks," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 17(2), pages 247-270, June.
    2. Booth, Alison L. & Zoega, Gylfi, 2003. "On the welfare implications of firing costs," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 19(4), pages 759-775, November.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Employment Cyclicality; Human Capital; Quitting Externalities; Redundancy Payments;

    JEL classification:

    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • J23 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Demand
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J41 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Labor Contracts

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