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The Economics of Severance Pay

Author

Listed:
  • Boeri, Tito

    (Bocconi University)

  • Garibaldi, Pietro

    (University of Turin)

  • Moen, Espen R.

    (Norwegian Business School (BI))

Abstract

All OECD countries have either legally mandated severance pay or compensations imposed by industry-level bargaining in case of employer initiated job separations. According to the extensive literature on Employment Protection Legislation such transfers are either ineffective or highly distortionary. In this paper we show that mandatory severance is optimal in presence of wage deferrals when there is moral hazard of employers and workers, notably when employers cannot commit not to fire a non-shirker and shirkers can also get away with it. Our model also accounts for two neglected features of EPL. The first is that dismissal costs depend not only on whether the dismissal is deemed fair or unfair, but also on the nature, economic vs. disciplinary, of the layoff. The second feature is that compensation for unfair dismissal or severance is generally increasing with tenure.

Suggested Citation

  • Boeri, Tito & Garibaldi, Pietro & Moen, Espen R., 2013. "The Economics of Severance Pay," IZA Discussion Papers 7455, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7455
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Boeri, Tito & Jimeno, Juan F., 2005. "The effects of employment protection: Learning from variable enforcement," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 49(8), pages 2057-2077, November.
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    9. Fraisse, H. & Kramarz, F. & Prost, C., 2009. "Labor Court Inputs, Judicial Cases Outcomes and Labor Flows: Identifying Real EPL," Working papers 256, Banque de France.
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    Cited by:

    1. Siassi, Nawid & Dolado, Juan J. & Lalé, Etienne, 2015. "Moving Towards a Single Labor Contract: Transition vs. Steady State," VfS Annual Conference 2015 (Muenster): Economic Development - Theory and Policy 112858, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    2. Juan J. Dolado & Etienne Lalé & Nawid Siassi, 2021. "From dual to unified employment protection: Transition and steady state," Quantitative Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 12(2), pages 547-585, May.
    3. Boeri, Tito & Jimeno, Juan F., 2016. "Learning from the Great Divergence in unemployment in Europe during the crisis," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 32-46.
    4. Kerndler, Martin, 2016. "Contracting frictions and inefficient layoffs of older workers," VfS Annual Conference 2016 (Augsburg): Demographic Change 145711, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    severance; unfair dismissal; graded security;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J63 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Turnover; Vacancies; Layoffs
    • J65 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment Insurance; Severance Pay; Plant Closings
    • J33 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Compensation Packages; Payment Methods

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