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When protection becomes exploitation: The impact of firing costs on present-biased employees

Florian Englmaier, Matthias Fahn, Ulrich Glogowsky and Marco Schwarz

No 2023-17, Economics working papers from Department of Economics, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria

Abstract: Employment protection harms early-career employees without benefitting them in later career stages (Leonardi and Pica, 2013). We demonstrate that this pattern can result from employers exploiting naive present-biased employees. Employers offer a dynamic contract with low early-career wages, an unattractive intermediate qualification stage, and high end-of-career wages. Upon reaching the qualification stage, present-biased employees exchange future wages for immediate rewards on an alternative career path - a choice unanticipated by their previous, naive, self. Thus, employers never pay high future wages. Firing costs help employers indicate that they will not oust employees instead of making promised payments, enabling early-career wage cuts.

Keywords: Employment protection laws; present bias; dynamic contracting (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D21 D90 J33 K31 M52 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2023-12
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-hrm and nep-lma
Note: English
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Related works:
Working Paper: When Protection Becomes Exploitation: The Impact of Firing Costs on Present-Biased Employees (2023) Downloads
Working Paper: When Protection Becomes Exploitation: The Impact of Firing Costs on Present-Biased Employees (2023) Downloads
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