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Optimal Coexistence of Long-term and Short-term contracts in Labor Markets

Author

Listed:
  • Inés Macho-Stadler

    (Department of Economics, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona)

  • David Pérez-Castrillo

    (Department of Economics, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona)

  • Nicolás Porteiro

    (Department of Economics, Universidad Pablo de Olavide)

Abstract

We consider a market where firms hire workers to run their projects and such projects differ in profitability. At any period, each firm needs two workers to successfully run its project: a junior agent, with no specific skills, and a senior worker, whose effort is not verifiable. Senior workers differ in ability and their competence is revealed after they have worked as juniors in the market. We study the length of the contractual relationships between firms and workers in an environment where the matching between firms and workers is the result of market interaction. We show that, despite in a one-firm-one-worker set-up long-term contracts are the optimal choice for firms, market forces often induce firms to use short-term contracts. Unless the market only consists of firms with very profitable projects, firms operating highly profitable projects offer short-term contracts to ensure the service of high-ability workers and those with less lucrative projects also use short-term contracts to save on the junior workers' wage. Intermediate firms may (or may not) hire workers through long-term contracts.

Suggested Citation

  • Inés Macho-Stadler & David Pérez-Castrillo & Nicolás Porteiro, 2011. "Optimal Coexistence of Long-term and Short-term contracts in Labor Markets," Working Papers 11.08, Universidad Pablo de Olavide, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:pab:wpaper:11.08
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Cahuc, Pierre & Charlot, Olivier & Malherbet, Franck, 2012. "Explaining the Spread of Temporary Jobs and its Impact on Labor Turnover," CEPR Discussion Papers 8864, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. Etienne Wasmer & Nicolas Lepage-Saucier & Juliette Schleich, 2013. "Moving towards a single labour contract: pros, cons and mixed feelings," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/772g8m5php8, Sciences Po.
    3. Tejada, Mauricio M., 2017. "Dual labor markets and labor protection in an estimated search and matching model," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 26-46.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Labor contracts; short-term; long-term; matching; incentives.;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D86 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Economics of Contract Law
    • C78 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Bargaining Theory; Matching Theory

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