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Inside Severance Pay

Author

Listed:
  • Tito Boeri

    (Bocconi University)

  • Pietro Garibaldi

    (Collegio Carlo Alberto)

  • Espen Moen

    (BI Norwegian Business School (Oslo))

Abstract

All OECD countries have either legally mandated severance pay or compensations imposed by industry-level bargaining in case of employer initiated job separations. In the literature such transfers are either ineffective or less efficient than unemployment benefits in providing insurance against labor market risk. The paper shows that mandatory severance is optimal in presence of wage deferrals induced by workers' moral hazard. We also establish a link between optimal severance and efficiency of the legal system and characterize the effects of shifting the burden of proof from the employer to the worker. Quantitatively, the welfare effects of suboptimal severance payments vary in general equilibrium between 1 and 3 percent. The model accounts also for two neglected features of the legislation. The first is the discretion of judges in declaring the nature, economic vs. disciplinary, of the layoff. The second feature is that compensation for dismissal is generally increasing with tenure.

Suggested Citation

  • Tito Boeri & Pietro Garibaldi & Espen Moen, 2016. "Inside Severance Pay," Sciences Po publications 47, Sciences Po.
  • Handle: RePEc:spo:wpmain:info:hdl:2441/7hh2up94ii8d2rg9pa9vg9eh3t
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    Cited by:

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    2. Martin Kerndler & Michael Reiter, 2020. "Wage Rigidities and Old-Age Unemployment," EconPol Policy Brief 22, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich.
    3. García-Vega, María & Kneller, Richard & Stiebale, Joel, 2021. "Labor market reform and innovation: Evidence from Spain," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 50(5).
    4. Bentolila, Samuel & Dolado, Juan J. & Jimeno, Juan F., 2019. "Dual Labour Markets Revisited," IZA Discussion Papers 12126, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    5. Boeri, Tito & Garibaldi, Pietro, 2019. "A tale of comprehensive labor market reforms: Evidence from the Italian jobs act," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 33-48.
    6. Heggedal, Tom-Reiel & Moen, Espen R. & Preugschat, Edgar, 2017. "Productivity spillovers through labor mobility in search equilibrium," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 169(C), pages 551-602.
    7. Martins, Pedro S., 2021. "Do entry wages increase when severance pay drops? Not in recessions," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 201(C).
    8. Camille Signoretto & Julie Valentin, 2019. "Individual dismissals for personal and economic reasons in French firms: One or two models?," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 48(2), pages 241-265, October.
    9. Etienne Lalé, 2018. "Turbulence and the employment experience of older workers," Quantitative Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 9(2), pages 735-784, July.
    10. Antonio Cabrales & Juan J. Dolado & Ricardo Mora, 2017. "Dual employment protection and (lack of) on-the-job training: PIAAC evidence for Spain and other European countries," SERIEs: Journal of the Spanish Economic Association, Springer;Spanish Economic Association, vol. 8(4), pages 345-371, November.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J63 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Turnover; Vacancies; Layoffs
    • J65 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment Insurance; Severance Pay; Plant Closings
    • J33 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Compensation Packages; Payment Methods

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