Severance Pay and the Shadow of the Law: Evidence for West Germany

41 Pages Posted: 13 Jan 2006

See all articles by Laszlo Goerke

Laszlo Goerke

University of Trier - Institute of Labour Law and Industrial Relations in the European Union; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Markus Pannenberg

University of Applied Sciences Bielefeld - Department of Business and Economics; DIW Berlin - GSOEP; Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA), Bonn

Date Written: December 2005

Abstract

Due to the complexity of employment protection legislation (EPL) in Germany, there is notable uncertainty about the outcomes of dismissal conflicts. In this study we focus on severance pay and inquire whether its incidence and level varies in a systematic manner with the legal rules as defined by labour as well as tax law. We start with a theoretical model that generates the main observable outcomes of dismissal conflicts as potential equilibrium situations. Using German panel data (GSOEP), we put our theoretical model to an empirical test. Our main result is that the shadow of the law matters. Criteria regarding the validity of dismissals either found in respective legislation or defined by labour courts significantly affect the incidence and magnitude of severance pay. Moreover, restrictive changes in the taxation of severance pay have a negative causal impact on its incidence.

Keywords: severance pay, labour law, taxation, sample selection, survey data

JEL Classification: J65, K31, H24, C23, C24

Suggested Citation

Goerke, Laszlo and Pannenberg, Markus, Severance Pay and the Shadow of the Law: Evidence for West Germany (December 2005). Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute for Economic Research Working Paper Series No. 1619, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=875567

Laszlo Goerke (Contact Author)

University of Trier - Institute of Labour Law and Industrial Relations in the European Union ( email )

Behringstraße 21, 7. Floor, Building H
Trier, 54296
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.iaaeu.de/

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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

Markus Pannenberg

University of Applied Sciences Bielefeld - Department of Business and Economics ( email )

Universitätsstrasse 25
Bielefeld, D-33615
Germany
+49 521 106-5076 (Phone)
+49 521 106-5086 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://aix5.fh-bielefeld.de/~mpannenb/index.html

DIW Berlin - GSOEP ( email )

Mohrenstraße 58
Berlin, 10117
Germany

Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA), Bonn

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

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