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Hiring And Firing: A Tale Of Two Thresholds

  • Alison Booth
  • Yu-Fu Chen
  • Gylfi Zoega

The negative effect of quits on the willingness of firms to provide on-the-job training is well documented in the theoretical literature. Here we explore the strength of this effect by solving a firm's dynamic optimization problem where there is uncertainty about future productivity and nonzero firing costs. We find that the degree to which quit rates affect hiring depends on the ratio of firing to hiring costs. As this ratio rises, the negative effect of quits becomes less important, eventually reversing itself. We also describe how quit rates affect the firing decision. We highlight some testable implications of our analysis.

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Paper provided by Economic Studies, University of Dundee in its series Dundee Discussion Papers in Economics with number 095.

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Date of creation: Mar 1999
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Handle: RePEc:dun:dpaper:095
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  1. Layard, Richard & Nickell, Stephen & Jackman, Richard, 1991. "Unemployment: Macroeconomic Performance and the Labour Market," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198284345, December.
  2. Stevens, Margaret, 1994. "A Theoretical Model of On-the-Job Training with Imperfect Competition," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 46(4), pages 537-62, October.
  3. Kuhn, Peter, 1992. "Mandatory Notice," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 10(2), pages 117-37, April.
  4. R. G. Lipsey & Kelvin Lancaster, 1956. "The General Theory of Second Best," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 24(1), pages 11-32.
  5. Royalty, Anne Beeson, 1998. "Job-to-Job and Job-to-Nonemployment Turnover by Gender and Education Level," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 16(2), pages 392-443, April.
  6. Avinash K. Dixit & Robert S. Pindyck, 1994. "Investment under Uncertainty," Economics Books, Princeton University Press, edition 1, number 5474, 06-2016.
  7. Daron Acemoglu & Jörn-Steffen Pischke, 1998. "Why Do Firms Train? Theory and Evidence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 113(1), pages 79-119.
  8. Edward P. Lazear, 1990. "Job Security Provisions and Employment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 105(3), pages 699-726.
  9. Booth, Alison L & Zoega, Gylfi, 1999. "Do Quits Cause Under-Training?," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 51(2), pages 374-86, April.
  10. Addison, John T & Chilton, John B, 1997. "Nondisclosure as a Contract Remedy: Explaining the Advance-Notice Puzzle," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(1), pages 143-64, January.
  11. Chang, Chun & Wang, Yijiang, 1996. "Human Capital Investment under Asymmetric Information: The Pigovian Conjecture Revisited," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 14(3), pages 505-19, July.
  12. Booth, Alison & Chatterji, Monojit, 1989. "Redundancy Payments and Firm-Specific Training," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 56(224), pages 505-21, November.
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