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Job mobility and creative destruction: flexicurity in the land of Schumpeter

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  • Andreas Kettemann
  • Francis Kramarz
  • Josef Zweimüller

Abstract

This paper evaluates the 2003 Austrian severance-pay reform, often advocated as a role model for structural reforms in countries plagued by inflexible labor markets and high unemployment. The reform replaced a system with tenure-based severance payments after a layoff (but not after a quit) by payments into pension accounts that accrue to workers after a layoff as well as after a quit. We identify the reform effects using a regression discontinuity (RD) design and find a substantial increase in job mobility in response to the reform. A search-and-matching model with on-the- job search and tenure-dependent severance payments is structurally estimated using the RD-induced empirical moments. Counterfactual policy experiments suggest that flexicurity reforms spur job creation and can substantially reduce unemployment in countries where severance payments are initially high.

Suggested Citation

  • Andreas Kettemann & Francis Kramarz & Josef Zweimüller, 2017. "Job mobility and creative destruction: flexicurity in the land of Schumpeter," ECON - Working Papers 256, Department of Economics - University of Zurich.
  • Handle: RePEc:zur:econwp:256
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Bruins, Marianne & Duffy, James A. & Keane, Michael P. & Smith, Anthony A., 2018. "Generalized indirect inference for discrete choice models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 205(1), pages 177-203.
    2. Guido Imbens & Karthik Kalyanaraman, 2012. "Optimal Bandwidth Choice for the Regression Discontinuity Estimator," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 79(3), pages 933-959.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Severance pay; job mobility; flexicurity;

    JEL classification:

    • J63 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Turnover; Vacancies; Layoffs
    • J65 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment Insurance; Severance Pay; Plant Closings

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