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Alternative Labor Retrenchment Laws and Their Effect on Wages and Employment: A Theoretical Investigation with Special Reference to Developing Countries

Author

Listed:
  • Basu, Kaushik

    (Cornell U)

  • Fields, Gary S.

    (Cornell U)

  • Debgupta, Shub

    (PriceWaterHouseCoopers, New York, NY)

Abstract

Many countries have legislation which make it costly for firms to dismiss or retrench workers. In the case of India, the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947, requires firms that employ 50 or more workers to pay a compensation to any worker who is to be retrenched. This paper builds a theoretical model to analyze the effects of such antiretrenchment laws. Our model reveals that an anti-retrenchment law can cause wages and employment to rise or fall, depending on the parametric conditions prevailing in the market. We then use this simple model to isolate conditions under which an antiretrenchment law raises wages and employment. In a subsequent section we assume that the law specifies exogenously the amount of compensation, s, that a firm has to pay each worker who is being dismissed. It is then shown that as s rises, starting from zero, equilibrium wages fall. However beyond a certain point, further rises in s cause wages to rise. In other words, the relation between the exogenously specified cost to the firm of dismissing a worker and the equilibrium wage is V-shaped.

Suggested Citation

  • Basu, Kaushik & Fields, Gary S. & Debgupta, Shub, 2000. "Alternative Labor Retrenchment Laws and Their Effect on Wages and Employment: A Theoretical Investigation with Special Reference to Developing Countries," Working Papers 00-11, Cornell University, Center for Analytic Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecl:corcae:00-11
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Djavad Salehi-Isfahani & Russell D. Murphy, 2006. "Labor market flexibility and investment in human capital," Working Papers e06-5, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Department of Economics.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J32 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Nonwage Labor Costs and Benefits; Retirement Plans; Private Pensions
    • J63 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Turnover; Vacancies; Layoffs
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
    • O17 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Formal and Informal Sectors; Shadow Economy; Institutional Arrangements

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