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Layoff Costs and Efficiency with Asymmetric Information


  • Delacroix, Alain

    (University of Québec at Montréal)

  • Wasmer, Etienne

    () (Sciences Po, Paris)


Wage determination under asymmetric information generates inefficiencies due to excess turnover. Severance pay and layoff taxes can improve efficiency. We show that inefficient separations can even be fully removed with fixed separation taxes in the case where the relevant private information is exponentially distributed.

Suggested Citation

  • Delacroix, Alain & Wasmer, Etienne, 2009. "Layoff Costs and Efficiency with Asymmetric Information," IZA Discussion Papers 4524, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp4524

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Wasmer, Etienne, 2002. "Interpreting Europe and US labor markets differences: the specificity of human capital investments," Arbetsrapport 2003:9, Institute for Futures Studies.
    2. 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.
    3. Giulio Fella, 2004. "Optimal severance pay in a matching model," 2004 Meeting Papers 794, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    4. Hall, Robert E & Lazear, Edward P, 1984. "The Excess Sensitivity of Layoffs and Quits to Demand," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 2(2), pages 233-257, April.
    5. Veracierto, Marcelo, 2001. "Employment Flows, Capital Mobility, and Policy Analysis," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 42(3), pages 571-595, August.
    6. Myerson, Roger B. & Satterthwaite, Mark A., 1983. "Efficient mechanisms for bilateral trading," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 265-281, April.
    7. Robert Shimer, 2005. "The Cyclical Behavior of Equilibrium Unemployment and Vacancies," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 25-49, March.
    8. Alvarez, Fernando & Veracierto, Marcelo, 2001. "Severance payments in an economy with frictions," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(3), pages 477-498, June.
    9. Alessandria, George & Delacroix, Alain, 2008. "Trade and the (dis)incentive to reform labor markets: The case of reform in the European Union," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 75(1), pages 151-166, May.
    10. Alain Delacroix & Etienne Wasmer, 2007. "Job and Workers Flows in Europe and the US: Specific Skills or Employment Protection?," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/9938, Sciences Po.
    11. Christopher A. Pissarides, 2000. "Equilibrium Unemployment Theory, 2nd Edition," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262161877, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. Stupnytska, Yuliia, 2015. "Asymmetric information in a search model with social contacts," Center for Mathematical Economics Working Papers 548, Center for Mathematical Economics, Bielefeld University.
    2. Etienne Lalé, 2014. "Labor-market Frictions, Incomplete Insurance and Severance Payments," Bristol Economics Discussion Papers 14/648, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK, revised 16 Aug 2016.

    More about this item


    bargaining; asymmetric information; employment protection legislation; inefficient job separations;

    JEL classification:

    • J41 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Labor Contracts
    • J60 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - General

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