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Signaling in The Labor Market: New Evidence On Layoffs, and Plant Closings

  • Nuria Rodriguez-Planas

    ()

In my asymmetric -information model of layoffs, high-productivity workers are more likely to be recalled to their former employer and may choose to remain unemployed rather than to accept a low-wage job. In this case, unemployment can serve as a signal of productivity, and duration of unemployment may be positively related to post-laid-off wages even among workers who are not recalled. In contrast, because workers whose plant closed cannot be recalled, longer unemployment for them should not have a positive signaling benefit. Analysis of the data from the January 1988-2000 Displaced Workers Supplements to the Current Population Survey reveals that the wage/unemployment duration relation differs between laid-off workers and workers displaced through plant closings in the predicted way, and finds evidence consistent with asymmetric information in the U.S. labor market.

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Paper provided by William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan in its series William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series with number 2003-610.

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Length: 63 pages
Date of creation: 01 Sep 2003
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wdi:papers:2003-610
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  1. Lawrence F. Katz, 1986. "Layoffs, Recall and the Duration of Unemployment," NBER Working Papers 1825, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Gibbons, Robert & Katz, Lawrence F., 1991. "Layoffs and Lemons," Scholarly Articles 3442782, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  3. Lawrence F. Katz & Bruce D. Meyer, 1988. "Unemployment Insurance, Recall Expectations, And Unemployment Outcomes," NBER Working Papers 2594, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Robert H. Topel, 1990. "Specific Capital, Mobility, and Wages: Wages Rise with Job Seniority," NBER Working Papers 3294, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Albert Ma, C.T. & Weiss, A.M., 1991. "A Signaling Theory of Unemployment," Papers 7, Boston University - Department of Economics.
  6. Kreps, David M & Wilson, Robert, 1982. "Sequential Equilibria," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(4), pages 863-94, July.
  7. Spence, A Michael, 1973. "Job Market Signaling," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 87(3), pages 355-74, August.
  8. Akerlof, George A, 1970. "The Market for 'Lemons': Quality Uncertainty and the Market Mechanism," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 84(3), pages 488-500, August.
  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. Anderson, Patricia M, 1992. "Time-Varying Effects of Recall Expectation, a Reemployment Bonus, and Job Counseling on Unemployment Durations," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 10(1), pages 99-115, January.
  11. Katharine G. Abraham & James L. Medoff, 1984. "Length of service and layoffs in union and nonunion work groups," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 38(1), pages 87-97, October.
  12. Akerlof, George A, 1976. "The Economics of Caste and of the Rat Race and Other Woeful Tales," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 90(4), pages 599-617, November.
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