Learner

In: Computers and Technology

Submitted By learn123
Words 16565
Pages 67
NBER WORKING PAPER SERIES

OUTSOURCING AT WILL: UNJUST DISMISSAL DOCTRINE
AND THE GROWTH OF TEMPORARY HELP EMPLOYMENT

David H. Autor

Working Paper 7557 http://www.nber.org/papers/w7557 NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
February 2000

The author is indebted to Daron Acemoglu, Joshua Angrist, John Donohue III, Edward Glaeser, John H.
Johnson III, Lawrence Katz, Sendhil Mullainathan, Andrew Morriss, Richard Murnane, Stewart Schwab,
Douglas Staiger, and Marika Tatsutani for valuable suggestions, and to Barry Guryan of Epstein, Becker and
Green for expert legal counsel. I also thank seminar participants at Brown University, Harvard University,
MIT, the NBER Labor Studies workshop, and the 2000 Econometrics Society meeting for excellent comments.The views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily those of the National
Bureau of Economic Research.
© 2000 by David H. Autor. All rights reserved. Short sections of text, not to exceed two paragraphs, may be quoted without explicit permission provided that full credit, including © notice, is given to the source.

Outsourcing at Will: Unjust Dismissal Doctrine and the
Growth of Temporary Help Employment
David H. Autor
NBER Working Paper No. 7557
February 2000
JEL No. J21, K31
ABSTRACT
The U.S. temporary help services (THS) industry grew at 11 percent annually between 1979
– 1995, five times more rapidly than non-farm employment. Contemporaneously, courts in 46 states adopted exceptions to the common law doctrine of employment at will that limit employers’ discretion to terminate workers and opened them to litigation. This paper assesses whether the decline of employment at will and the growth of THS are causally related. To aid the analysis, the paper considers a simple model of employment outsourcing, the primary…...

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