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Labor Market Dynamics and Wage Losses of Displaced Workers in France and the United-States


  • Arnaud Lefranc


The objective of this paper is to provide a comparative assessment of the consequences of worker displacement in France and the United States. I estimate wage losses of displaced workers in the two countries and examine the relative contribution of two important sources of post-displacement wage adjustments. The first one relates to the loss of seniority-accumulated firmspecific earnings potential. The second one arises from match heterogeneity. Identification of the relative contribution of these two sources can be achieved given separate estimates of returns to seniority. I show that, while the order of magnitude of total wage losses are comparable in the two economies (10 to 15%), the sources of wage adjustments differ strongly: all of the wage decline in France seems to be due to the loss of accumulated firm-specific earnings potential, while in the US, more than half of measured wage losses arise from a downgrading of displaced workers into lower quality job matches.
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  • Arnaud Lefranc, 2002. "Labor Market Dynamics and Wage Losses of Displaced Workers in France and the United-States," THEMA Working Papers 2002-15, THEMA (THéorie Economique, Modélisation et Applications), Université de Cergy-Pontoise.
  • Handle: RePEc:ema:worpap:2002-15

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Alain Delacroix & Etienne Wasmer, 2007. "Job and Workers Flows in Europe and the US: Specific Skills or Employment Protection?," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/9938, Sciences Po.
    2. Wasmer, Etienne, 2002. "Interpreting Europe and US labor markets differences: the specificity of human capital investments," Arbetsrapport 2003:9, Institute for Futures Studies.
    3. Anabela Carneiro & Pedro Portugal, 2006. "Earnings Losses of Displaced Workers: Evidence from a Matched Employer-employee Data Set," CEF.UP Working Papers 0607, Universidade do Porto, Faculdade de Economia do Porto.
    4. Anja Deelen, 2011. "Wage-Tenure Profiles and Mobility," CPB Discussion Paper 198, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
    5. Lalé, Etienne, 2012. "Trends in occupational mobility in France: 1982–2009," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 373-387.
    6. Etienne Wasmer & Peter Fredriksson & Ana Lamo & Julian Messina & Giovanni Peri, 2005. "The Macroeconomics of Education," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/9064, Sciences Po.
    7. Amynah Vanessa Gangji & Robert Plasman, 2007. "The Matthew effect of unemployment: how does it affect wages in Belgium," DULBEA Working Papers 07-19.RS, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    8. Julie L. Hotchkiss & M. Melinda Pitts & John C. Robertson, 2004. "Wage gains among job changers across the business cycle:> insight from state administrative data," FRB Atlanta Working Paper 2004-19, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
    9. Anil Duman, 2010. "Risks in the labor market and social insurance preferences: Germany and the USA," International Journal of Social Economics, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 37(2), pages 150-164, January.
    10. Barry, Frank & Walsh, Frank, 2008. "Gains and losses from sectoral relocation: A review of theory and empirics," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 4-16, March.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • J63 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Turnover; Vacancies; Layoffs
    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search
    • J65 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment Insurance; Severance Pay; Plant Closings


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