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Mandated versus Negotiated Severance Pay

Author

Listed:
  • Auray, Stéphane

    () (CREST)

  • Danthine, Samuel

    () (University of Québec at Montréal)

  • Poschke, Markus

    () (McGill University)

Abstract

While most of the literature on employment protection has focused on government-mandated severance pay, it has recently been documented that a substantial share of severance payments derives from private contracts or collective agreements. This paper studies the determination of these payments. We analyze the problem of joint bargaining over wages and severance payments and examine the impact of unions on these choices. To do so, we use a search and matching model with risk averse workers, in which we assume that workers may be unionized and that bargaining is over wages and severance pay. Bargaining results in levels of severance pay providing full insurance, which depend on the generosity of unemployment benefits and on the job finding rate. Unions opt for higher levels of severance pay given that their higher wage demands imply reduced job creation. Calibrated to 8 European economies, the model predicts bargained levels of severance pay which are close to those found in reality.

Suggested Citation

  • Auray, Stéphane & Danthine, Samuel & Poschke, Markus, 2014. "Mandated versus Negotiated Severance Pay," IZA Discussion Papers 8422, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp8422
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Andrea Bassanini & Luca Nunziata & Danielle Venn, 2009. "Job protection legislation and productivity growth in OECD countries," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 24, pages 349-402, April.
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    6. Booth,Alison L., 1994. "The Economics of the Trade Union," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521468398, April.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    severance pay; unions; bargaining; Diamond-Mortensen-Pissarides models;

    JEL classification:

    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • J32 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Nonwage Labor Costs and Benefits; Retirement Plans; Private Pensions
    • J33 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Compensation Packages; Payment Methods
    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search
    • J65 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment Insurance; Severance Pay; Plant Closings

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