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The Costs of Involuntary Job Loss: Impacts on Workers’ Employment and Earnings


  • Sylvia Dixon

    () (Labour Group, Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment)

  • Maré, David C

    () (Motu Economic and Public Policy Research)


This paper examines the incidence of involuntary job loss and its impact on the employment and earnings of affected workers, using data from the Survey of Families, Incomes and Employment (SoFIE) for the 2002–09 period. It focusses on employees who had been working in their job for at least one year before the job loss. The impact of displacement on employment and earnings was estimated by using a propensity score-matching approach to select similar non-displaced workers and then compare their outcomes. We find that the employment rate of displaced workers was on average 27 percentage points lower 0–1 years after displacement, 14 percentage points lower 1–2 years after, and 8 percentage points lower 2–3 years after, than that of the matched comparison group. The average wage of re-employed displaced workers was 12 percent lower 0–1 years after displacement, 11 percent lower 1–2 years after and 7 percent lower 2–3 years after. Other impacts included increases in unemployment and self-employment, reductions in average weekly hours, and reductions in weekly and annual earnings.

Suggested Citation

  • Sylvia Dixon & Maré, David C, 2013. "The Costs of Involuntary Job Loss: Impacts on Workers’ Employment and Earnings," Working Papers 13_03, Motu Economic and Public Policy Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:mtu:wpaper:13_03

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Marcus Eliason & Donald Storrie, 2006. "Lasting or Latent Scars? Swedish Evidence on the Long-Term Effects of Job Displacement," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 24(4), pages 831-856, October.
    2. Richard Fabling & David C. Maré, 2012. "Cyclical Labour Market Adjustment in New Zealand: The Response of Firms to the Global Financial Crisis and its Implications for Workers," Working Papers 12_04, Motu Economic and Public Policy Research.
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    More about this item


    Displaced workers; redundancy; SoFIE; propensity matching;

    JEL classification:

    • J63 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Turnover; Vacancies; Layoffs
    • 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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