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Hiring and Firing Costs, Adverse Selection and Long-term Unemployment

  • Kugler, Adriana

    ()

    (Georgetown University)

  • Saint-Paul, Gilles

    ()

    (University of Toulouse I)

In this paper, we present a matching model with adverse selection that explains why flows into and out of unemployment are much lower in Europe compared to North America, while employment-to-employment flows are similar in the two continents. In the model, firms use discretion in terms of whom to fire and, thus, low quality workers are more likely to be dismissed than high quality workers. Moreover, as hiring and firing costs increase, firms find it more costly to hire a bad worker and, thus, they prefer to hire out of the pool of employed job seekers rather than out of the pool of the unemployed, who are more likely to turn out to be `lemons’. We use microdata for Spain and the U.S. and find that the ratio of the job finding probability of the unemployed to the job finding probability of employed job seekers was smaller in Spain than in the U.S.. Furthermore, using U.S. data, we find that the discrimination of the unemployed increased over the 1980’s in those states that raised firing costs by introducing exceptions to the employment-at-will doctrine.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 134.

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Length: 54 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2000
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Journal of Labor Economics, 2004, 22(3), 553-584.
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp134
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  1. Saint-Paul, Gilles, 1995. "The High Unemployment Trap," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 110(2), pages 527-50, May.
  2. George A. Akerlof & Andrew K. Rose & Janet L. Yellen, 1988. "Job Switching and Job Satisfaction in the U.S. Labor Market," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 19(2), pages 495-594.
  3. Harry J. Holzer, 1987. "Job search by employed and unemployed youth," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 40(4), pages 601-611, July.
  4. Alan Krueger, 1989. "The Evolution of Unjust-Dismissal Legislation in the United States," Working Papers 638, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  5. Burda, Michael & Wyplosz, Charles, 1994. "Gross worker and job flows in Europe," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 38(6), pages 1287-1315, June.
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  9. Bertola, Giuseppe, 1990. "Job security, employment and wages," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 34(4), pages 851-879, June.
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  11. Royalty, Anne Beeson, 1998. "Job-to-Job and Job-to-Nonemployment Turnover by Gender and Education Level," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 16(2), pages 392-443, April.
  12. Levine, David I, 1991. "Just-Cause Employment Policies in the Presence of Worker Adverse Selection," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 9(3), pages 294-305, July.
  13. Lazear, Edward P, 1990. "Job Security Provisions and Employment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 105(3), pages 699-726, August.
  14. Guasch, J Luis & Weiss, Andrew, 1981. "Self-Selection in the Labor Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(3), pages 275-84, June.
  15. Akerlof, George A, 1970. "The Market for 'Lemons': Quality Uncertainty and the Market Mechanism," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 84(3), pages 488-500, August.
  16. Jovanovic, Boyan, 1979. "Job Matching and the Theory of Turnover," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(5), pages 972-90, October.
  17. Gibbons, Robert & Katz, Lawrence F, 1991. "Layoffs and Lemons," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 9(4), pages 351-80, October.
  18. Di Tella, Rafael & MacCulloch, Robert, 2005. "The consequences of labor market flexibility: Panel evidence based on survey data," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 49(5), pages 1225-1259, July.
  19. Anderson, Patricia M, 1993. "Linear Adjustment Costs and Seasonal Labor Demand: Evidence from Retail Trade Firms," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 108(4), pages 1015-42, November.
  20. Blau, David M & Robins, Philip K, 1990. "Job Search Outcomes for the Employed and Unemployed," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(3), pages 637-55, June.
  21. Hopenhayn, Hugo & Rogerson, Richard, 1993. "Job Turnover and Policy Evaluation: A General Equilibrium Analysis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(5), pages 915-38, October.
  22. Montgomery, James D, 1999. "Adverse Selection and Employment Cycles," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 17(2), pages 281-97, April.
  23. repec:ner:tilbur:urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-86873 is not listed on IDEAS
  24. Dennis J. Aigner & Glen G. Cain, 1977. "Statistical theories of discrimination in labor markets," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 30(2), pages 175-187, January.
  25. Fernando Alvarez & Marcelo Veracierto, 2000. "Labor-Market Policies in an Equilibrium Search Model," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1999, Volume 14, pages 265-316 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  26. Spence, A Michael, 1973. "Job Market Signaling," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 87(3), pages 355-74, August.
  27. Boeri, Tito, 1999. "Enforcement of employment security regulations, on-the-job search and unemployment duration," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 65-89, January.
  28. Bentolila, Samuel & Bertola, Giuseppe, 1990. "Firing Costs and Labour Demand: How Bad Is Eurosclerosis?," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 57(3), pages 381-402, July.
  29. Hamermesh, D.S. & Hassink, W.H.J. & van Ours, J.C., 1996. "Job turnover and labor turnover : A taxonomy of employment dynamics," Other publications TiSEM 1f3fab1f-b02a-485a-bb8f-f, School of Economics and Management.
  30. Alfonso Alba-Ramirez & Richard B. Freeman, 1990. "Jobfinding and Wages when Longrun Unemployment is Really Long: The Case of Spain," NBER Working Papers 3409, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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