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Economic Change and Worker Displacement in Canada: Consequences and Policy Responses

  • Riddell, W. Craig

Change is an enduring feature of the economy and the labour market, even in normal times. The importance of adjusting to change, and of policies that promote adjustment, has been a recurring theme throughout David Dodge’s distinguished career. This paper deals with “displaced workers,†those who permanently lose their jobs because of changing economic circumstances. I examine what we know about displacement and its consequences, and assess policies designed to assist workers adversely affected by economic change. A central finding of research on displacement is that long tenure displaced workers -- those who have held their jobs for an extended period of time -- suffer much more from losing their jobs than do others. Canada’s Employment Insurance does not take into account this salient feature of the consequences of job loss. The paper discusses ways of addressing this deficiency in our primary social insurance program for job losers.

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Paper provided by Vancouver School of Economics in its series CLSSRN working papers with number clsrn_admin-2009-41.

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Length: 21 pages
Date of creation: 22 Jul 2009
Date of revision: 22 Jul 2009
Handle: RePEc:ubc:clssrn:clsrn_admin-2009-41
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  1. Zhang, Xuelin & Morissette, Rene & Frenette, Marc, 2007. "Earnings Losses of Displaced Workers: Canadian Evidence from a Large Administrative Database on Firm Closures and Mass Layoffs," Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series 2007291e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
  2. Ann Huff Stevens & Marianne Page & Philip Oreopoulos, 2005. "The Intergenerational Effects of Worker Displacement," Working Papers 521, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.
  3. Louis S. Jacobson & Robert J. LaLonde & Daniel Sullivan, 1992. "Earnings Losses of Displaced Workers," Upjohn Working Papers and Journal Articles 92-11, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
  4. repec:tpr:qjecon:v:122:y:2007:i:4:p:1511-1560 is not listed on IDEAS
  5. Schultz, Theodore W, 1975. "The Value of the Ability to Deal with Disequilibria," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 13(3), pages 827-46, September.
  6. Gibbons, R. & Katz, L.F., 1989. "Layoffs And Lemons," Working papers 531, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  7. Louis S. Jacobson & Robert J. LaLonde & Daniel G. Sullivan, 2005. "Is retraining displaced workers a good investment?," Economic Perspectives, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, issue Q II, pages 47-66.
  8. John Baldwin & Timothy Dunne & John Haltiwanger, 1998. "A Comparison Of Job Creation And Job Destruction In Canada And The United States," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 80(3), pages 347-356, August.
  9. Neal, Derek, 1995. "Industry-Specific Human Capital: Evidence from Displaced Workers," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 13(4), pages 653-77, October.
  10. Robert J. LaLonde, 1995. "The Promise of Public Sector-Sponsored Training Programs," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(2), pages 149-168, Spring.
  11. Peter Kuhn & Arthur Sweetman, 1998. "Wage loss following displacement: The role of union coverage," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 51(3), pages 384-400, April.
  12. Riddell, W. Craig & Song, Xueda, 2009. "The Causal Effects of Education on Adaptability," CLSSRN working papers clsrn_admin-2009-15, Vancouver School of Economics, revised 16 Feb 2009.
  13. David Card & Raj Chetty & Andrea Weber, 2006. "Cash-on-Hand and Competing Models of Intertemporal Behavior: New Evidence from the Labor Market," NBER Working Papers 12639, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Louis S. Jacobson & Robert J. LaLonde & Daniel G. Sullivan, 1993. "Long-term earnings losses of high-seniority displaced workers," Economic Perspectives, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, issue Nov, pages 2-20.
  15. Farber, Henry S., 1999. "Mobility and stability: The dynamics of job change in labor markets," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 37, pages 2439-2483 Elsevier.
  16. Jane Friesen, 1997. "Mandatory notice and the jobless durations of displaced workers," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 50(4), pages 652-666, July.
  17. Jones, Stephen R G & Kuhn, Peter, 1995. "Mandatory Notice and Unemployment," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 13(4), pages 599-622, October.
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