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The Demand for Workers and Hours and the Effects of Job Security Policies: Theory and Evidence

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  • Daniel S. Hamermesh

Abstract

There has been a wide variety of research on worker-hours substitution and the effects of various costs on the speed and extent to which labor demand adjusts. Much of this literature, though, confuses various types of fixed costs and fails to provide a guide for identifying how changes in labor-cost structures affect static relative demands for workers and hours and the paths by which they adjust. This study presents a typology of labor cost market policies in OECD countries are pigeonholed by their effects on labor costs are view of the evidence indicates clearly that there is some slight substitution between workers and hours along a constant effective-labor isoquant. The evidence is clear that employers adjust the demand for hours more rapidly than that for workers and that both adjust fairly rapidly. It also shows that a major effect of cost-increasing policies designed to induce substitution from hours to workers is a reduction in the total amount of worker-hours demanded. Original analysis demonstrates that lags in the adjustment of employment in response to changes in demand lengthened in most OECD countries during the 1970s.

Suggested Citation

  • Daniel S. Hamermesh, 1986. "The Demand for Workers and Hours and the Effects of Job Security Policies: Theory and Evidence," NBER Working Papers 2056, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:2056
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    Cited by:

    1. Thomas K. Bauer & Stefan Bender & Holger Bonin, 2007. "Dismissal Protection and Worker Flows in Small Establishments," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 74(296), pages 804-821, November.
    2. Addison, John T. & Teixeira, Paulino, 1999. "Is Portugal really so arteriosclerotic? Results from a cross-country analysis of labor adjustment," ZEW Discussion Papers 99-30, ZEW - Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research.
    3. Guillermo Mondino & Silvia Montoya, 2004. "The Effects of Labor Market Regulations on Employment Decisions by Firms. Empirical Evidence for Argentina," NBER Chapters, in: Law and Employment: Lessons from Latin America and the Caribbean, pages 351-400, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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