Using a data set of individual labor disputes brought to court over the years 1990 to 2003 in France, we examine the impact of the enforcement of Employment Protection Legislation on labor market outcomes. First, we present a simple theoretical model showing that judicial case outcomes cannot be directly interpreted in terms of EPL. A large fraction of cases that go to trials may well be a sign of low firing costs when firms face low litigation costs and are therefore willing to go to court or a sign of high firing costs when workers face low litigation costs and are therefore willing to sue the firm. Second, we exploit our model as well as the French institutional setting to generate instruments for these endogenous outcomes. Using these instruments, we show that labor courts decisions have a causal effect on labor flows. More dropped cases and more trials cause more job destructions: more trials indeed are a sign of lower separation costs. More settlements, higher filing rates, a larger fraction of workers represented at trial, large lawyer density dampen job destruction. A larger judge density causes less job creation, in particular on the extensive margin.
Henri Fraisse, Francis Kramarz and Corinne Prost
Classification JEL : J32, J53, J63, K31
Keywords : employment protection legislation, labor flows, labor judges, unfair dismissal, France.
Updated on: 06/12/2018 11:00