Efficient public sector downsizing
Most downsizing operations show high financial returns, but their economic returns depend crucially on their design. After comparing public sector employment across countries, the author analyzes the optimal design of downsizing operations from a microeconomic perspective. The author discusses how to identify redundant workers when individual productivity is observable, as is often the case in state enterprises. Comparisons of productivity and labor costs are misleading because overstaffing is only one among several distortions. The author proposes using a shadow cost of labor, much the same as in standard investment projects. The author then discusses how to identify redundancies when individual productivity cannot be observed, as in government administration. Voluntary separations in exchange for severance pay create an adverse selection problem, whereby the best workers leave the public sector and the worst workers stay. The author discusses other self-selection methods more likely to create an incentive for the best workers to stay rather than quit. Most offers of severance pay tend to overcompensate workers. The author analyzes how labor data can be used to predict the loss replaced workers will experience and to tailor compensation to their individual characteristics. Finally, the author discusses the appropriate sequence of downsizing and privatization, the consequences of early retirement programs, and the usefulness of training programs and other active labor policies.
|Date of creation:||01 Sep 1997|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: 1818 H Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20433|
Phone: (202) 477-1234
Web page: http://www.worldbank.org/
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Orazem, Peter & Vodopivec, Milan & Wu, Ruth, 2004.
"Worker Displacement During The Transition: Experience From Slovenia,"
Staff General Research Papers
12032, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
- Peter F. Orazem & Milan Vodopivec & Ruth Wu, 2005. "Worker displacement during the transition: Experience from Slovenia," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 13(2), pages 311-340, 04.
- Orazem, Peter & Vodopivec, Milan & Wu, Ruth, 1995. "Worker displacement during the transition : experience from Slovenia," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1449, The World Bank.
- Orazem, Peter F. & Vodopivec, Milan & Wu, Ruth, 2004. "Worker Displacement during the Transition: Experience from Slovenia," IZA Discussion Papers 1297, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Shapiro, Carl & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1984. "Equilibrium Unemployment as a Worker Discipline Device," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(3), pages 433-44, June.
- Pritchett, Lant & Filmer, Deon, 1999. "What education production functions really show: a positive theory of education expenditures," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 223-239, April.
- Rama, Martin & MacIsaac, Donna, 1999. "Earnings and Welfare after Downsizing: Central Bank Employees in Ecuador," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 13(1), pages 89-116, January.
- Schiavo-Campo, Salvatore & de Tommaso, Giulio & Mukherjee, Amitabha, 1997. "An international statistical survey of government employment and wages," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1806, The World Bank.
- Jacobson, Louis S & LaLonde, Robert J & Sullivan, Daniel G, 1993.
"Earnings Losses of Displaced Workers,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 83(4), pages 685-709, September.
- 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.
- Louis S. Jacobson & Robert J. LaLonde & Daniel G. Sullivan, 1992. "Earnings losses of displaced workers," Working Paper Series, Macroeconomic Issues 92-28, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
- Bruce C. Fallick, 1995. "A review of the recent empirical literature on displaced workers," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 95-14, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
- International Monetary Fund, 1997. "Corruption and the Rate of Temptation; Do Low Wages in the Civil Service Cause Corruption?," IMF Working Papers 97/73, International Monetary Fund.
- Fallon, Peter R. & Lucas, Robert E. B., 1993.
"Job security regulations and the dynamic demand for industrial labor in India and Zimbabwe,"
Journal of Development Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 40(2), pages 241-275, April.
- Peter R. Fallon & Robert E. B. Lucas, 1989. "Job Security Regulations and the Dynamic Demand for Industrial Labor in India and Zimbabwe," Boston University - Institute for Economic Development 2, Boston University, Institute for Economic Development.
- Knight, Malcolm & Loayza, Norman & Villanueva, Delano, 1996.
"The peace dividend : military spending cuts and economic growth,"
Policy Research Working Paper Series
1577, The World Bank.
- Malcolm Knight & Norman Loayza & Delano Villanueva, 1996. "The Peace Dividend: Military Spending Cuts and Economic Growth," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 43(1), pages 1-37, March.
- Malcolm D. Knight & Delano Villanueva & Norman Loayza, 1995. "The Peace Dividend; Military Spending Cuts and Economic Growth," IMF Working Papers 95/53, International Monetary Fund.
- Alderman, Harold & Canagarajah, Sudharshan & Younger, Stephen, 1995. "A Comparison of Ghanaian Civil Servants' Earnings before and after Retrenchment," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 4(2), pages 259-88, October.
- Devarajan, Shantayanan & Squire, Lyn & Suthiwart-Narueput, Sethaput, 1995. "Reviving project appraisal at the World Bank," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1496, The World Bank.
- Dani Rodrik, 1997. "What Drives Public Employment?," NBER Working Papers 6141, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- 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.
- John Vickers & George Yarrow, 1991. "Economic Perspectives on Privatization," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 5(2), pages 111-132, Spring.
- Squire, Lyn, 1989. "Project evaluation in theory and practice," Handbook of Development Economics, in: Hollis Chenery & T.N. Srinivasan (ed.), Handbook of Development Economics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 21, pages 1093-1137 Elsevier.
- Commander, Simon & Davoodi, Hamid R. & Lee, Une J., 1997. "The causes of government and the consequences for growth and well-being," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1785, The World Bank.
- Svejnar, Jan & Terrell, Katherine, 1991. "Reducing labor redundancy in state owned enterprises," Policy Research Working Paper Series 792, The World Bank.
- Florencio Lopez-de-Silane, 1996. "Determinants of Privatization Prices," NBER Working Papers 5494, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- International Monetary Fund, 1995. "Employment and Wages in the Public Sector; A Cross-Country Study," IMF Working Papers 95/70, International Monetary Fund.
- Jeffrey A. Frankel & David Romer, 1996. "Trade and Growth: An Empirical Investigation," NBER Working Papers 5476, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- 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.
- Haltiwanger, John & Singh, Manisha, 1999. "Cross-Country Evidence on Public Sector Retrenchment," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 13(1), pages 23-66, January.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:1840. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Roula I. Yazigi)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.