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Last in, first out? Estimating the effect of seniority rules in Sweden

Author

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  • von Below, David

    () (Institute for International Economic Studies)

  • Thoursie, Peter

    () (Department of Economics, Stockholm University)

Abstract

In this paper we investigate whether a relaxation in seniority rules (the ‘last-in-first-out’ principle) had any effect on firms’ employment behaviour. Seniority rules exist in several countries and, like Sweden, most European countries have a more lenient employment protection for firms below a certain size. Despite the fact that small firms represent a large share of all firms and stand for a substantial share of total employment, there is limited knowledge of how such exemption rules affect firms’ employment behaviour — the consequences of seniority rules on firms’ employment behaviour have not been examined at all. Using data including the population of firms matched with the population of workers for the period 1999–2002, we do not find any general effects on worker flows or on hires and separations. The only exception is a tendency of an increase in the share of separations for older workers and workers with longer seniority. The result points to the importance of considering in detail how legislation is formulated and how it works in practice.

Suggested Citation

  • von Below, David & Thoursie, Peter, 2008. "Last in, first out? Estimating the effect of seniority rules in Sweden," Working Paper Series 2008:27, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:ifauwp:2008_027
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Böckerman, Petri & Skedinger, Per & Uusitalo, Roope, 2015. "Seniority rules, worker mobility and wages: Evidence from multi-country linked employer-employee data," MPRA Paper 68581, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. John Martin & Stefano Scarpetta, 2012. "Setting It Right: Employment Protection, Labour Reallocation and Productivity," De Economist, Springer, vol. 160(2), pages 89-116, June.
    3. Olsson, Martin, 2013. "Employment Protection and Parental Child Care," Working Paper Series 952, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
    4. repec:wsi:jicepx:v:08:y:2017:i:01:n:s1793993317500028 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Fredrik Heyman & Per Skedinger, 2016. "Employment Protection Reform, Enforcement in Collective Agreements and Worker Flows," Industrial Relations: A Journal of Economy and Society, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(4), pages 662-704, October.
    6. Bjuggren, Carl Magnus, 2018. "Employment protection and labor productivity," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 157(C), pages 138-157.
    7. Heggebø, Kristian, 2015. "Unemployment in Scandinavia during an economic crisis: Cross-national differences in health selection," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 130(C), pages 115-124.
    8. Martin Andersson & Steven Klepper, 2013. "Characteristics and performance of new firms and spinoffs in Sweden," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 22(1), pages 245-280, February.
    9. Aida Caldera Sánchez & Alain de Serres & Naomitsu Yashiro, 2016. "Reforming in a difficult macroeconomic context: A review of the issues and recent literature," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 1297, OECD Publishing.
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    11. Skedinger, Per, 2011. "Employment Consequences of Employment Protection Legislation," Working Paper Series 865, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
    12. Christl, Michael & Kucsera, Dénes & Lorenz, Hanno, 2015. "Jung, älter, arbeitslos? Wie Ältere länger in Beschäftigung gehalten werden können, ohne die Jungen in die Arbeitslosigkeit zu treiben," EconStor Research Reports 119605, ZBW - German National Library of Economics.
    13. Ulku,Hulya & Muzi,Silvia, 2015. "Labor market regulations and outcomes in Sweden : a comparative analysis of recent trends," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7229, The World Bank.
    14. Bjuggren, Carl Magnus, 2015. "Sensitivity to shocks and implicit employment protection in family firms," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 119(C), pages 18-31.
    15. von Below, David & Thoursie, Peter Skogman, 2010. "Last in, first out?: Estimating the effect of seniority rules in Sweden," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(6), pages 987-997, December.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Employment protection; employment change; hires; separations; regression discontinuity;

    JEL classification:

    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • J63 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Turnover; Vacancies; Layoffs
    • J65 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment Insurance; Severance Pay; Plant Closings

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