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Understanding Severance Pay Determination: Mandates, Bargaining, and Unions

Author

Listed:
  • Samuel Danthine

    (CREST-Ensai)

  • Markus Poschke

    (McGill)

  • Stephane Auray

    (CREST-Ensai)

Abstract

While most of the literature on employment protection has focused on government-mandated severance pay, it has recently been documented that a substantial share of severance payments derives from private contracts or collective agreements. This paper studies the determination of these payments. We analyze the problem of joint bargaining over wages and severance payments and examine the impact of unions on these choices. To do so, we use a search and matching model with risk averse workers, in which we assume that workers may be unionized and that bargaining is over wages and severance pay. Bargaining results in levels of severance pay providing full insurance, which depend on the generosity of unemployment benefits and on the job finding rate. Unions opt for higher levels of severance pay given that their higher wage demands imply reduced job creation. Calibrated to 8 European economies, the model predicts bargained levels of severance pay which are close to those found in reality.

Suggested Citation

  • Samuel Danthine & Markus Poschke & Stephane Auray, 2016. "Understanding Severance Pay Determination: Mandates, Bargaining, and Unions," 2016 Meeting Papers 967, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  • Handle: RePEc:red:sed016:967
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    File URL: https://economicdynamics.org/meetpapers/2016/paper_967.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Andrea Bassanini & Luca Nunziata & Danielle Venn, 2009. "Job protection legislation and productivity growth in OECD countries," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 24, pages 349-402, April.
    2. Federico Cingano & Marco Leonardi & Julián Messina & Giovanni Pica, 2010. "The effects of employment protection legislation and financial market imperfections on investment: evidence from a firm-level panel of EU countries," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 25, pages 117-163, January.
    3. Conti, Maurizio & Sulis, Giovanni, 2016. "Human capital, employment protection and growth in Europe," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(2), pages 213-230.
    4. Bassanini, Andrea & Garnero, Andrea, 2013. "Dismissal protection and worker flows in OECD countries: Evidence from cross-country/cross-industry data," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(C), pages 25-41.
    5. Booth, Alison L, 1995. "Layoffs with Payoffs: A Bargaining Model of Union Wage and Severance Pay Determination," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 62(248), pages 551-564, November.
    6. Delacroix, Alain, 2006. "A multisectorial matching model of unions," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(3), pages 573-596, April.
    7. Fella Giulio & Tyson Christopher J., 2013. "Privately optimal severance pay," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 13(1), pages 1-39, October.
    8. Holzmann, Robert & Pouget, Yann & Vodopivec, Milan & Weber, Michael, 2011. "Severance pay programs around the world : history, rationale, status, and reforms," Social Protection and Labor Policy and Technical Notes 62726, The World Bank.
    9. Açıkgöz, Ömer Tuğrul & Kaymak, Barış, 2014. "The rising skill premium and deunionization," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(C), pages 37-50.
    10. Danielle Venn, 2009. "Legislation, Collective Bargaining and Enforcement: Updating the OECD Employment Protection Indicators," OECD Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers 89, OECD Publishing.
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    Cited by:

    1. Bottasso, Anna & Conti, Maurizio & Sulis, Giovanni, 2017. "Firm dynamics and employment protection: Evidence from sectoral data," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 35-53.

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