Dismissals and Match-Specific Rents
Labor contracts that result in dismissals are quite common in the real world. The question that arises is why employers do not just offer reduced wages instead of asking workers with low realized productivity to leave. This paper argues that such behavior can be explained by workers' understandable unwillingness to agree to contracts that an employer will not have an incentive to honor in the future. Specifically, we construct a matching model in which the employer and the worker are both uncertain about the value the other places on the match. Because the worker's match-specific productivity is the employer's private information, a commitment to pay a wage equal to the worker's value of marginal product is not enforceable. In the absence of a wage guarantee, the employer will offer retained workers wages below their value of marginal product, which causes quits to be inefficiently high. The employer can reduce quits by contractually promising a guaranteed wage to retained workers. Although this will lead to some involuntary dismissals, the loss from dismissals will be less than the gain from lower quits if the wage guarantee is not too high.
|Date of creation:||03 Apr 1996|
|Date of revision:|
|Note:||Type of Document - Binary Word for Windows (V6.0) Document; prepared on IBM PC compatible; to print on HP LaserJet III; pages: 26|
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: http://econwpa.repec.org|
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.:
- O'Flaherty, B. & Siow, A., 1990.
"On the Job Screening, Up or Out Rules, and Firm Growth,"
University of Chicago - Economics Research Center
90-11, Chicago - Economics Research Center.
- Brendan O'Flaherty & Aloysius Siow, 1992. "On the Job Screening, up or out Rules, and Firm Growth," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 25(2), pages 346-68, May.
- Samuelson, William F, 1984. "Bargaining under Asymmetric Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(4), pages 995-1005, July.
- Albrecht, James W & Jovanovic, Boyan, 1986.
"The Efficiency of Search under Competition and Monopsony,"
Journal of Political Economy,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(6), pages 1246-57, December.
- Albrecht, James & Jovanovic, Boyan, 1985. "The Efficiency of Search Under Competition and Monopsony," Working Papers 85-15, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
- John M. Barron & Mark C. Berger & Dan A. Black, 1997. "On-the-Job Training," Books from Upjohn Press, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, number ojt, October.
- Robert E. Hall & Edward P. Lazear, 1982.
"The Excess Sensitivity of Layoffs and Quits to Demand,"
NBER Working Papers
0864, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Hall, Robert E & Lazear, Edward P, 1984. "The Excess Sensitivity of Layoffs and Quits to Demand," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 2(2), pages 233-57, April.
- Charles Brown, 1990.
"Firms' choice of method of pay,"
Industrial and Labor Relations Review,
ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 43(3), pages 165-182, February.
- 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.
- Roger B. Myerson & Mark A. Satterthwaite, 1981.
"Efficient Mechanisms for Bilateral Trading,"
469S, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
- Carmichael, H Lorne, 1989. "Self-Enforcing Contracts, Shirking, and Life Cycle Incentives," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 3(4), pages 65-83, Fall.
- W. Bentley MacLeod & James M. Malcomson, 1986.
"Implicit Contracts, Incentive Compatibility, and Involuntary Unemployment,"
585, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
- MacLeod, W Bentley & Malcomson, James M, 1989. "Implicit Contracts, Incentive Compatibility, and Involuntary Unemployment," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(2), pages 447-80, March.
- Dan A. Black & Mark A. Loewenstein, 1996.
"Dismissals and Match-Specific Rents,"
Labor and Demography
- Kuhn, Peter, 1993.
"Demographic groups and personnel policy,"
Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 49-70, June.
- Salop, S. C., 1973. "Wage differentials in a dynamic theory of the firm," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 6(4), pages 321-344, August.
- Gary S. Becker, 1962. "Investment in Human Capital: A Theoretical Analysis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 70, pages 9.
- Bester, Helmut, 1989. "Incentive-Compatible Long-term Contracts and Job Rationing," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 7(2), pages 238-55, April.
- Joanne Salop & Steven C. Salop, 1976. "Self-selection and turnover in the labor market," Special Studies Papers 80, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
- Pencavel, John H, 1972. "Wages, Specific Training, and Labor Turnover in US Manufacturing Industries," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 13(1), pages 53-64, February.
- Lynch, Lisa M, 1992. "Private-Sector Training and the Earnings of Young Workers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(1), pages 299-312, March.
- Jonathan Thomas & Tim Worrall, 1988. "Self-Enforcing Wage Contracts," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 55(4), pages 541-554.
- Barron, John M & Black, Dan A & Loewenstein, Mark A, 1989. "Job Matching and On-the-Job Training," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 7(1), pages 1-19, January.
- 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.
- Parsons, Donald O, 1972. "Specific Human Capital: An Application to Quit Rates and Layoff Rates," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 80(6), pages 1120-43, Nov.-Dec..
- Joanne Salop & Steven Salop, 1976. "Self-Selection and Turnover in the Labor Market," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 90(4), pages 619-627.
- John Riley & Richard Zeckhauser, 1983. "Optimal Selling Strategies: When to Haggle, When to Hold Firm," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 98(2), pages 267-289.
- Dale T. Mortensen, 1978. "Specific Capital and Labor Turnover," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 9(2), pages 572-586, Autumn.
- Dale T. Mortensen, 1978. "Specific Capital, Bargaining, and Labor Turnover," Discussion Papers 320, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
- Hashimoto, Masanori, 1981. "Firm-Specific Human Capital as a Shared Investment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(3), pages 475-82, June.
- Lorne Carmichael, 1981.
"Firm-Specific Human Capital and Promotion Ladders,"
452, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpla:9604002. 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: (EconWPA)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.