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Selective Firing and Lemons

  • Michèle A. Weynandt
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    This paper uses the Austrian Social Security Register (ASSD) to explore what information firms infer from the three common types of displacement: individual layoffs, individuals displaced due to a closure and individuals displaced due to a mass layoff. I bring together two strands of the literature, namely signaling and sorting and contribute to it in three ways. First I test whether the individual layoffs are the least productive, second I investigate whether individual layoffs are perceived as “lemons” (with a specific focus on the high ability individuals) and third I raise the question whether the “lemon” exists in the resulting matching pattern. Using the Abowd et al. (1999) model I show that the individual layoffs are the least productive measured by the person fixed effect. I confirm the signaling argument of Gibbons and Katz (1991) that individual layoffs are perceived as “lemons” also for high ability individuals, but I reject the argument of Gibbons and Katz (1991) against the matching model (Becker, 1973). Using three different measures of sorting, I find that the matching changes differentially for the different layoff groups. This leads to the tentative conclusion that both sorting and signaling take place after an individual job loss.

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    Paper provided by The Austrian Center for Labor Economics and the Analysis of the Welfare State, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria in its series NRN working papers with number 2014-05.

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    Length: 48 pages
    Date of creation: Mar 2014
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:jku:nrnwps:2014_05
    Contact details of provider: Postal: NRN Labor Economics and the Welfare State, c/o Rudolf Winter-Ebmer, Altenbergerstr. 69, 4040 Linz
    Phone: +43-732-2468-8216
    Fax: +43-732-2468-8217
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    5. Akerlof, George A, 1970. "The Market for 'Lemons': Quality Uncertainty and the Market Mechanism," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 84(3), pages 488-500, August.
    6. Louis S. Jacobson & Robert J. LaLonde & Daniel G. Sullivan, 1992. "Earnings losses of displaced workers," Working Paper Series, Macroeconomic Issues 92-28, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
    7. Becker, Gary S, 1973. "A Theory of Marriage: Part I," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(4), pages 813-46, July-Aug..
    8. René Böheim & Gerard Thomas Horvath & Rudolf Winter-Ebmer, 2010. "Great Expectations: Past Wages and Unemployment Durations," NRN working papers 2010-07, The Austrian Center for Labor Economics and the Analysis of the Welfare State, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
    9. Gruetter, Max & Lalive, Rafael, 2009. "The importance of firms in wage determination," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 149-160, April.
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    11. Serafinelli, Michel, 2013. "Good Firms, Worker Flows and Productivity," MPRA Paper 49055, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 12 Aug 2013.
    12. Josef Zweimüller & Rudolf Winter-Ebmer & Rafael Lalive & Andreas Kuhn & Jean-Philippe Wuellrich & Oliver Ruf & Simon Büchi, 2009. "Austrian Social Security Database," NRN working papers 2009-03, The Austrian Center for Labor Economics and the Analysis of the Welfare State, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
      • Josef Zweimüller & Rudolf Winter-Ebmer & Rafael Lalive & Andreas Kuhn & Jean-Philippe Wuellrich & Oliver Ruf & Simon Büchi, 2009. "Austrian social security database," IEW - Working Papers 410, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
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    14. Martina Fink & Esther Segalla & Andrea Weber & Christine Zulehner, 2010. "Extracting Firm Information from Administrative Records: The ASSD Firm Panel," NRN working papers 2010-04, The Austrian Center for Labor Economics and the Analysis of the Welfare State, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
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    21. Louis S. Jacobson & Robert J. LaLonde & Daniel G. Sullivan, 1993. "Long-term earnings losses of high-seniority displaced workers," Economic Perspectives, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, issue Nov, pages 2-20.
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    28. repec:clu:wpaper:0708-16 is not listed on IDEAS
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