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Job Security Does Affect Economic Efficiency: Theory, A New Statistic, and Evidence from Chile

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  • Amil Petrin
  • Jagadeesh Sivadasan

Abstract

The extensive empirical macro- and micro-level evidence on the impact of job security provisions is largely inconclusive. We argue that the weak evidence is a consequence of the weak power of statistics used, which is suggested by a dynamic theory of plant-level labor demand that we develop. This model speaks clearly on one issue: firing costs drive a wedge between the marginal revenue product of labor and its marginal cost. We examine changes in this gap as our test statistic. It is easy to compute and has a welfare interpretation. We use census data of Chilean manufacturing firms for the years 1979-1996 to look for real effects induced by two significant increases in the costs of dismissing employees. Similar to previous findings in other data, the traditional labor demand statistics provide little evidence of a negative impact from increases in firing costs. While we find no evidence that gaps increase for inputs that are not directly affected by firing costs, we find large and statistically significant increases in the mean and variance of the within-firm gap between the marginal revenue product of labor and the wage for both blue and white collar workers.

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  • Amil Petrin & Jagadeesh Sivadasan, 2006. "Job Security Does Affect Economic Efficiency: Theory, A New Statistic, and Evidence from Chile," NBER Working Papers 12757, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:12757
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    2. Carmen Pagés-Serra & Reyes Aterido & Mary Hallward-Driemeier, 2007. "Clima de negocios y creación de empleo: El efecto del acceso al crédito, la corrupción y el marco regulatorio en el crecimiento de las empresas," Research Department Publications 4560, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
    3. Harrison, Ann E. & Lin, Justin Yifu & Xu, Lixin Colin, 2014. "Explaining Africa’s (Dis)advantage," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 63(C), pages 59-77.
    4. Alali, Walid Y., 2010. "Institutions, Policies, and Economic Growth Overview," EconStor Preprints 269877, ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics.
    5. Chad Syverson, 2011. "What Determines Productivity?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 49(2), pages 326-365, June.
    6. Richard B. Freeman, 2007. "Labor Market Institutions Around the World," NBER Working Papers 13242, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Carmen Pagés-Serra & Reyes Aterido & Mary Hallward-Driemeier, 2007. "Investment Climate and Employment Growth: The Impact of Access to Finance, Corruption and Regulations Across Firms," Research Department Publications 4559, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
    8. David H. Autor & William R. Kerr & Adriana D. Kugler, 2007. "Do Employment Protections Reduce Productivity? Evidence from U.S. States," NBER Working Papers 12860, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Almeida, Rita & Carneiro, Pedro, 2008. "Mandated benefits, employment, and inequality in a dual economy," Social Protection Discussion Papers and Notes 45051, The World Bank.
    10. Alali, Walid Y., 2010. "Institutions, Policies, and Economic Growth: Overview," MPRA Paper 115609, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    11. Rita Almeida & Pedro Carneiro, Renata Narita, 2013. "Producing Higher Quality Jobs: Enforcement of Mandated Benefits across Brazilian Cities between 1996-2007," Working Papers, Department of Economics 2013_22, University of São Paulo (FEA-USP).
    12. Wei Li & Taye Mengistae & Lixin Colin Xu, 2011. "Diagnosing Development Bottlenecks: China and India," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 73, pages 722-752, December.
    13. Abiodun O. Folawewo, 2016. "Institutions, regulatory framework and labour market outcomes in Nigeria," Journal of Social and Economic Development, Springer;Institute for Social and Economic Change, vol. 18(1), pages 67-84, October.
    14. Amil Petrin & Jagadeesh Sivadasan, 2013. "Estimating Lost Output from Allocative Inefficiency, with an Application to Chile and Firing Costs," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 95(1), pages 286-301, March.
    15. Hasan, Iftekhar & Manfredonia, Stefano, 2022. "Productivity, managers’ social connections and the financial crisis," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 141(C).
    16. Richard B. Freeman, 2009. "Labor Regulations, Unions, and Social Protection in Developing Countries: Market distortions or Efficient Institutions?," NBER Working Papers 14789, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    17. Lixin Colin Xu, 2011. "The Effects of Business Environments on Development: Surveying New Firm-level Evidence," The World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 26(2), pages 310-340, August.
    18. J. Rodrigo Fuentes, 2011. "Una Mirada Desagregada del Deterioro de la Productividad en Chile: ¿Existe un Cambio Estructural?," Documentos de Trabajo 401, Instituto de Economia. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile..

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D21 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Theory
    • J23 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Demand
    • 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

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