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Earnings Losses of Displaced Workers

  • Louis S. Jacobson

    (W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research)

  • Robert J. LaLonde

    (University of Chicago)

  • Daniel Sullivan

    (Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago)

The 1990-1991 recession has intensified concerns about the consequences of workers' job losses. To estimate the magnitude and temporal pattern of displaced workers' earnings losses, we exploit an unusual administrative data set that includes both employees' quarterly earnings histories and information about their firms. We find that when high-tenure workers separate from distressed firms their long-term losses average 25 percent per year. Further, their losses mount even prior to separation, are not limited to workers in a few industrial sectors, and are substantial even for those who find new jobs in similar firms. This evidence suggests that displaced workers' earnings losses result largely from the loss of some unidentified attribute of the employment relationship.

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Paper provided by W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research in its series Upjohn Working Papers and Journal Articles with number 92-11.

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Date of creation: Feb 1992
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Handle: RePEc:upj:weupjo:92-11
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  1. Lazear, Edward P, 1981. "Agency, Earnings Profiles, Productivity, and Hours Restrictions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(4), pages 606-20, September.
  2. Ashenfelter, Orley C, 1978. "Estimating the Effect of Training Programs on Earnings," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 60(1), pages 47-57, February.
  3. Topel, Robert, 1990. "Specific capital and unemployment: Measuring the costs and consequences of job loss," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 181-214, January.
  4. Orley Ashenfelter & David Card, 1984. "Using the Longitudinal Structure of Earnings to Estimate the Effect of Training Programs," Working Papers 554, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  5. Blanchflower, David G, 1991. "Fear, Unemployment and Pay Flexibility," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 101(406), pages 483-96, May.
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  7. Blau, Francine D & Ferber, Marianne A, 1987. "Discrimination: Empirical Evidence from the United States," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(2), pages 316-20, May.
  8. Paul Beaudry & John DiNardo, 1989. "Long-Term Contracts and Equilibrium Models of the Labor Market: Some Favorable Evidence," Working Papers 632, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  9. Kletzer, Lori Gladstein, 1989. "Returns to Seniority after Permanent Job Loss," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(3), pages 536-43, June.
  10. LaLonde, Robert J, 1986. "Evaluating the Econometric Evaluations of Training Programs with Experimental Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(4), pages 604-20, September.
  11. Paul Swaim & Michael Podgursky, 1991. "The Distribution of Economic Losses among Displaced Workers: A Replication," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 26(4), pages 742-755.
  12. Jovanovic, Boyan, 1979. "Job Matching and the Theory of Turnover," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(5), pages 972-90, October.
  13. Michael Podgursky & Paul Swaim, 1987. "Job displacement and earnings loss: Evidence from the Displaced Worker Survey," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 41(1), pages 17-29, October.
  14. Ruhm, Christopher J, 1991. "Are Workers Permanently Scarred by Job Displacements?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(1), pages 319-24, March.
  15. Daniel S. Hamermesh, 1987. "What Do We Know About Worker Displacement in the U.S.?," NBER Working Papers 2402, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1974. "Alternative Theories of Wage Determination and Unemployment in LDC'S: The Labor Turnover Model," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 88(2), pages 194-227, May.
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