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Asymmetric information in the labor market: new evidence on layoffs, recalls, and unemployment


  • Nuria Rodriguez-Planas


In the United States, many laid-off workers are recalled to their former employer. I develop an asymmetric information model of layoffs in which high-productivity workers are more likely to be recalled and may choose to remain unemployed rather than accept a low-wage job. In this case, unemployment can serve as a signal of productivity, and unemployment duration may be positively related to post-layoff wages even among workers who are not recalled. In contrast, since workers whose plant closed cannot be recalled, longer unemployment duration should not have a positive signaling benefit for such workers. Analysis of the data from January 1988-1992 Displaced Workers Supplements to the Current Population Survey reveals that the wage/unemployment duration relation differs between the two groups in the predicted way, and finds evidence consistent with asymmetric information in the U.S. labor market.

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  • Nuria Rodriguez-Planas, 1999. "Asymmetric information in the labor market: new evidence on layoffs, recalls, and unemployment," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 1999-09, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgfe:1999-09

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Loughran, Tim & Ritter, Jay R, 1995. " The New Issues Puzzle," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 50(1), pages 23-51, March.
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    3. William C. Brainard & James Tobin, 1968. "Pitfalls in Financial Model-Building," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 244, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
    4. Ikenberry, David & Lakonishok, Josef & Vermaelen, Theo, 1995. "Market underreaction to open market share repurchases," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(2-3), pages 181-208.
    5. N. Gregory Mankiw & David Romer & Matthew D. Shapiro, 1991. "Stock Market Forecastability and Volatility: A Statistical Appraisal," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(3), pages 455-477.
    6. William R. Nelson, 1999. "Evidence of excess returns on firms that issue or repurchase equity," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 1999-06, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
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    Unemployment ; Labor market;

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