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Do Labor Market Rigidities Have Microeconomic Effects? Evidence from within the Firm

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  • Francine Lafontaine
  • Jagadeesh Sivadasan

Abstract

We exploit a unique outlet-level dataset from a multinational chain with over 2,500 outlets in 43 countries to investigate the effects of labor regulations that protect employment. The dataset contains information on output, materials, and labor costs at a weekly frequency over several years, allowing us to examine the consequences of labor market rigidity at a much more detailed level than has been possible to date. We find that higher labor market rigidity is associated with significantly higher levels of hysteresis. We also find some evidence that labor costs are less responsive to sales revenue in more highly regulated markets. (JEL: E24, J08, J23, K31, M51)

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Journal: Applied Economics.

Volume (Year): 1 (2009)
Issue (Month): 2 (April)
Pages: 88-127

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aejapp:v:1:y:2009:i:2:p:88-127

Note: DOI: 10.1257/app.1.2.88
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  1. Blundell, R. & Bond, S., 1995. "Initial Conditions and Moment Restrictions in Dynamic Panel Data Models," Economics Papers 104, Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
  2. Hamermesh, Daniel S & Pfann, Gerard Antonie, 1996. "Adjustment Costs in Factor Demand," CEPR Discussion Papers 1371, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Besley, Timothy J. & Burgess, Robin, 2002. "Can Labour Regulation Hinder Economic Performance? Evidence from India," CEPR Discussion Papers 3260, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Pasaran, M.H. & Im, K.S. & Shin, Y., 1995. "Testing for Unit Roots in Heterogeneous Panels," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 9526, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  5. Arellano, Manuel & Bond, Stephen, 1991. "Some Tests of Specification for Panel Data: Monte Carlo Evidence and an Application to Employment Equations," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(2), pages 277-97, April.
  6. Zvi Griliches & Jerry A. Hausman, 1984. "Errors in Variables in Panel Data," NBER Technical Working Papers 0037, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Ricardo J. Caballero & Eduardo M.R.A. Engel & John Haltiwanger, 1995. "Aggregate Employment Dynamics: Building From Microeconomic Evidence," NBER Working Papers 5042, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Haltiwanger, John & Scarpetta, Stefano & Schweiger, Helena, 2006. "Assessing job flows across countries : the role of industry, firm size, and regulations," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4070, The World Bank.
  9. Victor Aguirregabiria & Cesar Alonso-Borrego, 2009. "Labor contracts and flexibility : evidence from a labor market reform in Spain," Economics Working Papers we091811, Universidad Carlos III, Departamento de Economía.
  10. Paola Rota, 2004. "Estimating Labor Demand with Fixed Costs," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 45(1), pages 25-48, 02.
  11. Fidel Jaramillo & Fabio Schiantarelli & Alessandro Sembenelli, 1991. "Are Adjustment Costs for Labor Asymmetric? An Econometric Test on Panel Data for Italy," Papers 0021, Boston University - Industry Studies Programme.
  12. Anderson, Patricia M, 1993. "Linear Adjustment Costs and Seasonal Labor Demand: Evidence from Retail Trade Firms," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 108(4), pages 1015-42, November.
  13. Hopenhayn, Hugo & Rogerson, Richard, 1993. "Job Turnover and Policy Evaluation: A General Equilibrium Analysis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(5), pages 915-38, October.
  14. Nickell, Stephen J, 1981. "Biases in Dynamic Models with Fixed Effects," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(6), pages 1417-26, November.
  15. Lazear, Edward P, 1990. "Job Security Provisions and Employment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 105(3), pages 699-726, August.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Gylfi Zoega, 2009. "Employment and Asset Prices," Birkbeck Working Papers in Economics and Finance 0917, Birkbeck, Department of Economics, Mathematics & Statistics.
  2. Maria Bas & Juan Carluccio, 2009. "Wage Bargaining and the Boundaries of the Multinational Firm," CEP Discussion Papers dp0963, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  3. Francine Lafontaine & Jagadeesh Sivadasan, 2009. "Within-firm Labor Productivity across Countries: A Case Study," NBER Chapters, in: International Differences in the Business Practices and Productivity of Firms, pages 137-172 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Popov, Alexander & Roosenboom, Peter, 2009. "On the real effects of private equity investment: evidence from new business creation," Working Paper Series 1078, European Central Bank.
  5. Norbäck, Pehr-Johan & Duanmu , Jing-Lin & Skedinger, Per, 2012. "Employment Protection and Multinational Enterprises: Theory and Evidence from Micro Data," Working Paper Series 935, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.

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