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Fixed-term and permanent employment contracts: theory and evidence

  • Shutao Cao
  • Enchuan Shao
  • Pedro Silos

This paper constructs a theory of the coexistence of fixed-term and permanent employment contracts in an environment with ex ante identical workers and employers. Workers under fixed-term contracts can be dismissed at no cost while permanent employees enjoy labor protection. In a labor market characterized by search and matching frictions, firms find it optimal to discriminate by offering some workers a fixed-term contract while offering other workers a permanent contract. Match-specific quality between a worker and a firm determines the type of contract offered. We analytically characterize the firms' hiring and firing rules. Using matched employer-employee data from Canada, we estimate the wage equations from the model. The effects of firing costs on wage inequality vary dramatically depending on whether search externalities are taken into account.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta in its series FRB Atlanta Working Paper with number 2010-13.

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Date of creation: 2010
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedawp:2010-13
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  1. César Alonso-Borrego & Jesús Fernández-Villaverde & José E. Galdón-Sánchez, 2004. "Evaluating Labor Market Reforms: A General Equilibrium Approach," PIER Working Paper Archive 04-016, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
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  7. Cahuc, Pierre & Postel-Vinay, Fabien & Robin, Jean-Marc, 2003. "Wage Bargaining with On-The-Job Search: Theory and Evidence," CEPR Discussion Papers 4154, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Eric F. Smith, 2007. "Limited Duration Employment," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 10(3), pages 444-471, July.
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  11. Fernando Alvarez & Marcelo Veracierto, 2006. "Fixed-Term Employment Contracts in an Equilibrium Search Model," NBER Working Papers 12791, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. O Blanchard & A Landier, 2002. "The Perverse Effects of Partial Labour Market Reform: fixed--Term Contracts in France," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(480), pages F214-F244, June.
  13. Fernando Alvarez & Marcelo Veracierto, 1999. "Labor market policies in an equilibrium search model," Working Paper Series WP-99-10, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  14. Eckstein, Zvi & Wolpin, Kenneth I, 1990. "Estimating a Market Equilibrium Search Model from Panel Data on Individuals," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(4), pages 783-808, July.
  15. James Mabli & Christopher Flinn, 2007. "On-the-Job Search, Minimum Wages, and Labor Market Outcomes in an Equilibrium Bargaining Framework," 2007 Meeting Papers 791, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  16. Danielle Venn, 2009. "Legislation, Collective Bargaining and Enforcement: Updating the OECD Employment Protection Indicators," OECD Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers 89, OECD Publishing.
  17. Chernozhukov, Victor & Hong, Han, 2003. "An MCMC approach to classical estimation," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 115(2), pages 293-346, August.
  18. Bontemps, Christian & Robin, Jean-Marc & Van den Berg, Gerard J, 1999. "An Empirical Equilibrium Job Search Model with Search on the Job and Heterogeneous Workers and Firms," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 40(4), pages 1039-74, November.
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