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Dual Labour Markets and the Tenure Distribution: Reducing Severance Pay or Introducing a Single Contract?

  • J. Ignacio García Pérez
  • Victoria Osuna

This paper evaluates Spain's recent labour market reform concerning the reduction in severance pay from 45 to 33 days of wages per year of seniority and the introduction of a new subsidized permanent contract. We also compare this policy with the introduction of a single open-ended labour contract with increasing severance payments for all new hirings. We use an equilibrium search and matching model to generate the main properties of this segmented labour market. Our steady {state results show this reform will reduce unemployment (by 20%) and job destruction (by 29%). However, in terms of wage subsidies, the cost of implementing this reform will be very high. A cheaper and more effective way to decrease the duality in the labour market would be to eliminate temporary contracts and introduce a single contract. Unemployment and job destruction in this case would be reduced by 28% and 42%, respectively. Most interestingly, tenure distribution would be even smoother than under the designed reform: 21% more workers would end up having tenures of more than three years, and there would be 32% fewer one year contracts. The transition shows that both changes would benefit a majority of workers: only 8.1% would be jeopardized under the approved reform (5.8% in the transition to the single contract) due to improvement in job stability.

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Paper provided by FEDEA in its series Working Papers with number 2012-09.

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Date of creation: Oct 2012
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Handle: RePEc:fda:fdaddt:2012-09
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