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Fixed-Term Employment Contracts in an Equilibrium Search Model

  • Fernando Alvarez
  • Marcelo Veracierto

This paper analyzes the effects of fixed-term contracts using a version of the Lucas and Prescott island model with undirected search. A fixed-term contract of length J is modeled as a tax on separations of workers with tenure higher than J . While in principle these policies require a very large state space to analyze the firms and households' problems, we show that equilibrium allocations solve a simple dynamic programming problem. Analyzing this problem we show that equilibrium employment dynamics are characterized by two dimensional inaction sets. Finally, to understand the effect of these contracts, we compare them with two extreme cases: for J = 1 the fixed-term contracts are equivalent to the case of firing taxes, and for large J they are equivalent to the laissez-faire case. In a calibrated version of the model, we find that temporary contracts with J equivalent to three years length close about half of the gap between those two extremes.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 12791.

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Date of creation: Dec 2006
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Alvarez, Fernando & Veracierto, Marcelo, 2012. "Fixed-term employment contracts in an equilibrium search model," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 147(5), pages 1725-1753.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:12791
Note: EFG LS
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  1. César Alonso-Borrego & Jesús Fernández-Villaverde & José E. Galdón-Sánchez, 2005. "Evaluating Labor Market Reforms: A General Equilibrium Approach," NBER Working Papers 11519, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Dolado, Juan J. & Garcia-Serrano, Carlos & Jimeno, Juan F, 2001. "Drawing Lessons From the Boom of Temporary Jobs in Spain," CEPR Discussion Papers 2884, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Giuseppe BERTOLA & Tito BOERI & Sandrine CAZES, 2000. "Employment protection in industrialized countries: The case for new indicators," International Labour Review, International Labour Organization, vol. 139(1), pages 57-72, 03.
  4. Veracierto, Marcelo, 2001. "Employment Flows, Capital Mobility, and Policy Analysis," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 42(3), pages 571-95, August.
  5. Carmen Pagés-Serra & James J. Heckman, 2000. "The Cost of Job Security Regulation: Evidence from Latin American Labor Markets," Research Department Publications 4227, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
  6. Cabrales, Antonio & Hopenhayn, Hugo A., 1997. "Labor-market flexibility and aggregate employment volatility," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 189-228, June.
  7. Hopenhayn, Hugo & Rogerson, Richard, 1993. "Job Turnover and Policy Evaluation: A General Equilibrium Analysis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(5), pages 915-38, October.
  8. Olivier Blanchard & Augustin Landier, 2001. "The Perverse Effects of Partial Labor Market Reform: Fixed Duration Contracts in France," NBER Working Papers 8219, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. repec:fda:fdaddt:2001-11 is not listed on IDEAS
  10. Victor Aguirregabiria & Cesar Alonso-Borrego, 2014. "Labor Contracts And Flexibility: Evidence From A Labor Market Reform In Spain," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 52(2), pages 930-957, 04.
  11. Cesar Alonso-Borrego & Jesus Fernandez-Villaverde & Jose Galdon-Sanchez, 2004. "Evaluating Labor Market Reforms: A General Equilibrium Approach," Working Papers 866, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  12. Fernando Alvarez & Marcelo Veracierto, 2000. "Labor-Market Policies in an Equilibrium Search Model," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1999, Volume 14, pages 265-316 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Alvarez, Fernando & Veracierto, Marcelo, 2001. "Severance payments in an economy with frictions," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(3), pages 477-498, June.
  14. Bentolila, Samuel & Bertola, Giuseppe, 1990. "Firing Costs and Labour Demand: How Bad Is Eurosclerosis?," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 57(3), pages 381-402, July.
  15. Prescott, Edward C & Mehra, Rajnish, 1980. "Recursive Competitive Equilibrium: The Case of Homogeneous Households," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(6), pages 1365-79, September.
  16. Stephen Nickell, 1997. "Unemployment and Labor Market Rigidities: Europe versus North America," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(3), pages 55-74, Summer.
  17. Bentolila, Samuel & Saint-Paul, Gilles, 1992. "The macroeconomic impact of flexible labor contracts, with an application to Spain," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 36(5), pages 1013-1047, June.
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