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  • Pfann, Gerard A.


    (Maastricht University)

Optimal layoff rules in closed form are derived for all workers in a firm that downsizes under uncertainty and faces heterogeneous firing costs. The theoretical model predicts that the firm displaces workers with low firing costs, low expected future productivity growth, and low layoff option values. The empirical analysis based on personnel records from a Dutch aircraft building company that went bankrupt in 1996 shows that workers with high uncertainty associated with higher than average expected productivity growth are most likely to be retained.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 307.

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Length: 65 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2001
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp307
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  1. Samuel Bentolila & Giuseppe Bertola, 1990. "Firing Costs and Labour Demand: How Bad is Eurosclerosis?," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 57(3), pages 381-402.
  2. Daniel S. Hamermesh, 1984. "The Costs of Worker Displacement," NBER Working Papers 1495, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. McLaughlin, Kenneth J, 1991. "A Theory of Quits and Layoffs with Efficient Turnover," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(1), pages 1-29, February.
  4. Thomas J. Sargent, 1973. "Rational Expectations, the Real Rate of Interest, and the Natural Rate of Unemployment," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 4(2), pages 429-480.
  5. Merton, Robert C., 1975. "Option pricing when underlying stock returns are discontinuous," Working papers 787-75., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
  6. Joseph G. Altonji & Charles R. Pierret, 2001. "Employer Learning and Statistical Discrimination," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(1), pages 313-350.
  7. Dale T. Mortensen & Christopher A. Pissarides, 1993. "Job Creation and Job Destruction in the Theory of Unemployment," CEP Discussion Papers dp0110, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  8. Lori G. Kletzer, 1998. "Job Displacement," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(1), pages 115-136, Winter.
  9. Dixit, Avinash K, 1989. "Entry and Exit Decisions under Uncertainty," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(3), pages 620-38, June.
  10. Daniel S. Hamermesh, 1987. "The Costs of Worker Displacement," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 102(1), pages 51-75.
  11. Robert H. Topel & Michael P. Ward, 1992. "Job Mobility and the Careers of Young Men," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(2), pages 439-479.
  12. Edward P. Lazear, 1995. "Hiring Risky Workers," NBER Working Papers 5334, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Paul Oyer & Scott Schaefer, . "Layoffs and Litigation," IPR working papers 98-34, Institute for Policy Resarch at Northwestern University.
  14. George Baker & Michael Gibbs & Bengt Holmstrom, 1994. "The Internal Economics of the Firm: Evidence from Personnel Data," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 109(4), pages 881-919.
  15. Nickell, S J, 1978. "Fixed Costs, Employment and Labour Demand over the Cycle," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 45(180), pages 329-45, November.
  16. Jovanovic, Boyan, 1979. "Firm-specific Capital and Turnover," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(6), pages 1246-60, December.
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