Equilibrium Layoff As Termination of a Dynamic Contract
In a dynamic model of the labor market with moral hazard, equilibrium layoff is modeled as termination of an optimal long-term contract. Termination, together with compensation (current and future), is used as an incentive device to induce worker efforts. I then use the model to study analytically the effects of a firing tax on termination and worker compensation and utility. There are three layers to the impact of a firing tax on layoff and worker utility. A higher firing tax could either reduce aggregate termination and increase worker utility, or increase aggregate termination and reduce worker utility, depending on the structure of the environment.
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