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The Shape of Hiring and Separation Costs

  • Francis Kramarz

    (Crest)

  • Marie-Laure Michaud

    (Crest)

In this article, we estimate the structure of costs of hiring, terminating, and retiring employees in France. We use a representative panel data set of French establishments that contains direct measures of these various costs as well as measures of entries and exits for the years 1992 and 1996. This data set results from the match of two sources: the Wage Structure Survey and the Workforce Movement Questionnaire. We show that the cost of hiring into permanent contracts is larger than the cost of hiring into fixed-term contracts. But these costs are small in comparison to the costs of retiring or terminating workers. Furthermore, collective terminations (dismissal of at least 10 workers during a 30 days period) are much more expensive than individual terminations. Hiring and separations are similar in one aspect: they entail no or little firm-specific fixed cost. Furthermore, termination and hiring costs are concave and induce firms to group their permanent hirings and separations. Retirement costs are linear. These estimates show that regulations imposed by French labor laws significantly affect the structure and the magnitude of these costs.

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Paper provided by Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistique in its series Working Papers with number 2002-38.

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Date of creation: 2002
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Handle: RePEc:crs:wpaper:2002-38
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  1. Machin, Stephen & Manning, Alan, 1999. "The causes and consequences of longterm unemployment in Europe," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 47, pages 3085-3139 Elsevier.
  2. Heckman, James J & Willis, Robert J, 1977. "A Beta-logistic Model for the Analysis of Sequential Labor Force Participation by Married Women," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(1), pages 27-58, February.
  3. Olivier Blanchard & Justin Wolfers, 1999. "The Role of Shocks and Institutions in the Rise of European Unemployment: The Aggregate Evidence," NBER Working Papers 7282, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. 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.
  5. Hamermesh, Daniel S, 1989. "Labor Demand and the Structure of Adjustment Costs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(4), pages 674-89, September.
  6. Heckman, James, 2013. "Sample selection bias as a specification error," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 31(3), pages 129-137.
  7. Abowd, John M. & Kramarz, Francis, 2003. "The costs of hiring and separations," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(5), pages 499-530, October.
  8. Richard Layard & Stephen Nickell, 1998. "Labour Market Institutions and Economic Performance," CEP Discussion Papers dp0407, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  9. Goux, Dominique & Maurin, Eric & Pauchet, Marianne, 2001. "Fixed-term contracts and the dynamics of labour demand," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(3), pages 533-552, March.
  10. P Garibaldi, 1995. "Job Flow Dynamics and Firing Restrictions," CEP Discussion Papers dp0256, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  11. Bertola, Giuseppe, 1990. "Job security, employment and wages," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 34(4), pages 851-879, June.
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