The Detrimental Effect of Job Protection on Employment: Evidence from France

54 Pages Posted: 10 Jun 2019

See all articles by Pierre Cahuc

Pierre Cahuc

National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies (INSEE) - National School for Statistical and Economic Administration (ENSAE); Université Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne - Equipe Universitaire de Recherche en Economie Quantitative (EUREQUA); University of Angers - French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Franck Malherbet

ENSAE; Universite Paris I Pantheon-Sorbonne

Julien Prat

University of Vienna; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Abstract

According to French law, employers have to pay at least six months salary to employees whose seniority exceeds two years in case of unfair dismissal. We show, relying on data, that this regulation entails a hike in severance payments at two-year seniority which induces a significant rise in the job separation rate before the two-year threshold and a drop just after. The layoff costs and its procedural component are evaluated thanks to the estimation of a search and matching model which reproduces the shape of the job separation rate. We find that total layoff costs increase with seniority and are about four times higher than the expected severance payments at two years of seniority. Counterfactual exercises show that the fragility of low-seniority jobs implies that layoff costs reduce the average job duration and increase unemployment for a wide set of empirically relevant parameters.

Keywords: employment protection legislation, dismissal costs, unemployment

JEL Classification: J65, J63, J32

Suggested Citation

Cahuc, Pierre and Malherbet, Franck and Prat, Julien, The Detrimental Effect of Job Protection on Employment: Evidence from France. IZA Discussion Paper No. 12384. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3401152

Pierre Cahuc (Contact Author)

National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies (INSEE) - National School for Statistical and Economic Administration (ENSAE) ( email )

92245 Malakoff Cedex
France

Université Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne - Equipe Universitaire de Recherche en Economie Quantitative (EUREQUA) ( email )

106-112 Boulevard de l'Hopital
Paris Cedex 13, 75647
France
+33 1 4117 3717 (Phone)
+33 1 4117 3724 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://eurequa.univ-paris1.fr/membres/cahuc/

University of Angers - French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS)

106-112 Boulevard de l'Hopital
75647 Paris Cedex 13
France
+33 4 44 07 82 06 (Phone)
+33 4 44 07 82 02 (Fax)

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Franck Malherbet

ENSAE ( email )

92245 Malakoff Cedex
France

Universite Paris I Pantheon-Sorbonne

15 Boulevard Gabriel Peri
92245 Malakoff Cedex
France
+33 1 4117 3550 (Phone)
+33 1 4117 7634 (Fax)

Julien Prat

University of Vienna ( email )

Bruenner Strasse 72
Vienna 1210, Vienna
Austria

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Schaumburg-Lippe-Str. 7 / 9
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

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