Length of Service, Terminations and the Nature of the Employment Relationship
32 Pages Posted: 9 Jun 2004 Last revised: 21 Jun 2021
Date Written: March 1983
This paper presents new survey evidence that relative protection against job loss grows with length of service, independent of their net value to the firm. This protection makes good sense given that at most companies employees appear to earn less than their value marginal product in the early part of their tenure and more than their value marginal product in the latter part; without job protection policies for senior employees, the firm would have an incentive to terminate them when their "spot" earnings went above their "spot" value marginal product. In particular, we find that a very large percentage (over 95 percent) of hourly union members outside of agriculture and construction are covered by protective policies for senior workers and, that a somewhat smaller, but still substantial, percentage (about 85 percent) of comparable nonunion hourlies also have some protection against jobloss in their senior years. The potential reasons for these findings are briefly discussed.
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