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Talent Discovery, Layoff Risk and Unemployment Insurance



In talent-intensive jobs, workers’ performance reveals their quality. This enhances productivity and wages, but also increases layoff risk. If workers cannot resign from their jobs, firms can insure them via severance pay. If instead workers can resign, private insurance cannot be provided, and more risk-averse workers will choose less informative jobs. This lowers expected productivity and wages. Public unemployment insurance corrects this inefficiency, enhancing employment in talent-sensitive industries and investment in education by employees. The prediction that the generosity of unemployment insurance is positively correlated with the share of workers in talent-sensitive industries is consistent with international and U.S. evidence.

Suggested Citation

  • Marco Pagano & Luca Picariello, 2017. "Talent Discovery, Layoff Risk and Unemployment Insurance," CSEF Working Papers 480, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.
  • Handle: RePEc:sef:csefwp:480

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Agrawal, Ashwini K. & Matsa, David A., 2013. "Labor unemployment risk and corporate financing decisions," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 108(2), pages 449-470.
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    More about this item


    talent; learning; layoff risk; unemployment insurance;

    JEL classification:

    • D61 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Allocative Efficiency; Cost-Benefit Analysis
    • D62 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Externalities
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • I26 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Returns to Education
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J65 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment Insurance; Severance Pay; Plant Closings

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