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Education and the welfare gains from employment protection

  • Charlot Olivier


    (Universite de Cergy-Pontoise, THEMA, F-95000 Cergy-Pontoise.)

  • Malherbet Franck


    (Universite de Cergy-Pontoise, THEMA, F-95000 Cergy-Pontoise, IZA and fRDB.)

In this paper, we generalize the study of the return to education undertaken in e.g. Laing, Palivos and Wang (1995) or Burdett and Smith (2002) to an environment where the link between education and employment stability is taken into account. This enables us to study how an European-like and Employment Protection Legislation (EPL) with heavily regulated long-term contracts and more flexible short-term contracts affects the return to schooling, equilibrium unemployment and welfare. In this context, we show that ¯ring costs and temporary employment have opposite effects on the rate of use of human capital and thus, on educational investments. We furthermore demonstrate that a laissez faire economy with no regulation is inefficient as it is characterized by insufficient educational investments leading to excess job destruction and inadequate job creation. By stabilizing employment relationships, firing costs may spur educational investments and therefore lead to welfare and productivity gains, though a first-best policy would be to subsidize education. However, there is little chance for a dual (European-like) EPL to raise the incentives to schooling and aggregate welfare.

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Paper provided by THEMA (THéorie Economique, Modélisation et Applications), Université de Cergy-Pontoise in its series THEMA Working Papers with number 2010-04.

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Date of creation: 2010
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Handle: RePEc:ema:worpap:2010-04
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