September 2004

IZA DP No. 1297: Worker Displacement during the Transition: Experience from Slovenia

published in: Economics of Transition, 2005, 13 (2), 311-340

The transition to market in Slovenia created labor displacements that were on par or greater than that experienced in North America in the 1980s. A simple theoretical model suggests that factors which raise the probability of layoff should also increase the probability of a quit, predictions that are borne out in data. Probability of both layoffs and quits fell with worker tenure, firm profitability and expected severance costs. Individuals facing a higher probability of displacement accepted slower wage growth than otherwise comparable workers. The incentives to avoid displacement were strong – workers that actually were displaced faced a slow process of transiting out of unemployment with only one-third finding reemployment. Correcting for selection, real wage losses for displaced workers are comparable to those reported for displaced workers in North America.