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Fairness and the labour market; A theoretical and empirical analysis of layoffs in Germany

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  • Pfeifer, Christian

Abstract

In recent years layoffs have increasingly become the focus of public attention. So far, however, there has been no representative study for Germany of how far and under what conditions layoffs are accepted by the population - in other words by people who are not immediately affected. Principles of distributive justice, rules of procedural justice, attribution theory, and psychological contract theory form the framework of the analysis. On this basis, hypotheses are generated, which are tested empirically in a telephone survey conducted among East and West Germans in 2004 (n=3039).

Suggested Citation

  • Pfeifer, Christian, 2005. "Fairness and the labour market; A theoretical and empirical analysis of layoffs in Germany," Hannover Economic Papers (HEP) dp-328, Leibniz Universität Hannover, Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät.
  • Handle: RePEc:han:dpaper:dp-328
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    File URL: http://diskussionspapiere.wiwi.uni-hannover.de/pdf_bib/dp-328.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Rabin, Matthew, 2002. "A perspective on psychology and economics," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(4-5), pages 657-685, May.
    2. Konow, James, 2001. "Fair and square: the four sides of distributive justice," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 137-164, October.
    3. Franz Wolfgang & Pfeiffer Friedhelm, 2003. "Zur ökonomischen Rationalität von Lohnrigiditäten aus der Sicht von Unternehmen / The Rationale for Wage Rigidity: Employers' Viewpoint," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 223(1), pages 23-57, February.
    4. Gary Charness & David I. Levine, 2000. "When are Layoffs Acceptable? Evidence from a Quasi-Experiment," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 53(3), pages 381-400, April.
    5. George A. Akerlof, 1982. "Labor Contracts as Partial Gift Exchange," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 97(4), pages 543-569.
    6. Matthew Rabin, 1998. "Psychology and Economics," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(1), pages 11-46, March.
    7. Elster, Jon, 1991. "Local justice : How institutions allocate scarce goods and necessary burdens," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 35(2-3), pages 273-291, April.
    8. Kahneman, Daniel & Knetsch, Jack L & Thaler, Richard, 1986. "Fairness as a Constraint on Profit Seeking: Entitlements in the Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(4), pages 728-741, September.
    9. von Krogh, Georg & Kameny, Marla, 2002. "Leap Before You Layoff:: Look For Creative Alternatives," European Management Journal, Elsevier, vol. 20(6), pages 664-670, December.
    10. James Konow, 2003. "Which Is the Fairest One of All? A Positive Analysis of Justice Theories," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 41(4), pages 1188-1239, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Christian Pfeifer, 2007. "The Perceived Fairness of Layoffs in Germany: Participation, Compensation, or Avoidance?," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 74(1), pages 25-36, August.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    distributive justice; downsizing; fairness; layoffs; procedural justice;

    JEL classification:

    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • J63 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Turnover; Vacancies; Layoffs
    • M12 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - Personnel Management; Executives; Executive Compensation
    • M51 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics - - - Firm Employment Decisions; Promotions

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