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Downsizing

Author

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  • Pfann, Gerard A.

    () (Maastricht University)

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Pfann, Gerard A., 2001. "Downsizing," IZA Discussion Papers 307, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp307
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    File URL: http://ftp.iza.org/dp307.pdf
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    Other versions of this item:

    • Gerard A. Pfann, 2001. "Downsizing," Working Papers 0110, Harris School of Public Policy Studies, University of Chicago.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Mortensen, Dale & Pissarides, Christopher, 2011. "Job Creation and Job Destruction in the Theory of Unemployment," Economic Policy, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration, vol. 1, pages 1-19.
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    3. 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.
    4. 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 329-345, November.
    5. Dixit, Avinash K, 1989. "Entry and Exit Decisions under Uncertainty," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(3), pages 620-638, June.
    6. 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.
    7. 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.
    8. 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.
    9. Paul Oyer & Scott Schaefer, 2000. "Layoffs and Litigation," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 31(2), pages 345-358, Summer.
    10. Edward P. Lazear, 1995. "Hiring Risky Workers," NBER Working Papers 5334, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Daniel S. Hamermesh, 1987. "The Costs of Worker Displacement," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 102(1), pages 51-75.
    12. Merton, Robert C., 1976. "Option pricing when underlying stock returns are discontinuous," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(1-2), pages 125-144.
    13. Lori G. Kletzer, 1998. "Job Displacement," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(1), pages 115-136, Winter.
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    Cited by:

    1. Hartmut Lehmann & Kaia Phillips & Jonathan Wadsworth, 2002. "The Incidence and Cost of Job Loss in a Transition Economy: Displaced Workers in Estonia, 1989-1999," CERT Discussion Papers 0209, Centre for Economic Reform and Transformation, Heriot Watt University.
    2. Sunde, Uwe, 2002. "Unobserved Bilateral Search on the Labor Market: A Theory-Based Correction for a Common Flaw in Empirical Matching Studies," IZA Discussion Papers 520, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    heterogeneity; uncertainty; firing costs; Layoff rules;

    JEL classification:

    • J33 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Compensation Packages; Payment Methods
    • J63 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Turnover; Vacancies; Layoffs

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