IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/nbr/nberwo/1495.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The Costs of Worker Displacement

Author

Listed:
  • Daniel S. Hamermesh

Abstract

This study defines the nature of worker displacement and develops a mechanism for inferring the amount of losses caused by displacement in away that is tied to economic theory. Data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics are first used to identify the characteristics of displaced workers. After a demonstration that usual methods of evaluating workers' losses cannot provide correct measures of the cost to society, a game--theoretic model determining the amount of firm -- specific investment in workers is developed. As workers'and firms' horizons decrease, such investment will be reduced; this will be exhibited in a flattening of the wage-tenure profile as the date of displacement approaches. Examination of the profile thus provides a test whether firms and workers have good information about impending displacement. Using the PSID data for workers displaced between 1977 and 1981, the study shows there is no significant flattening of the wage-tenure profile in the entire sample. (However, some flattening does occur among unionized workers, and also among workers who are laid-off permanently from a plant that remains open.) This suggests that workers are surprised by displacement, for they continue investing in firm-specific human capital up to the time of displacement. The present value of the worker's share of the lost returns on this investment is around $7000 (1980 dollars) under intermediate assumptions about the real rate of discount, depreciation on such investment and the effect of tenure on the rate of voluntary separation.

Suggested Citation

  • Daniel S. Hamermesh, 1984. "The Costs of Worker Displacement," NBER Working Papers 1495, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:1495
    Note: LS ITI IFM
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w1495.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    More about this item

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:1495. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/nberrus.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.