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Labour market institutions and income inequality

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  • Daniele Checchi
  • Cecilia García-Peñalosa

Abstract

"Labour market institutions are a crucial determinant of wage inequality, the wage share in aggregate income, and the unemployment rate. Since these variables affect, in turn, the distribution of income across households, the question arises of whether stronger labour market institutions have an impact on income inequality. Institutions can in principle have conflicting effects. For example, a higher unemployment benefit tends to increase the wage share, which in turn reduces inequality, but it also increases the unemployment rate thus making the distribution of income more unequal. This paper examines what is the overall impact of labour market institutions on household income inequality. The evidence indicates that stronger institutions are associated with lower income inequality, but in some cases also with higher rates of unemployment. We explore the magnitude of this trade-off, and quantify the changes in inequality and unemployment that we would observe if a common labour standard were imposed on members of the European Union." Copyright (c) CEPR, CES, MSH, 2008.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by CEPR & CES & MSH in its journal Economic Policy.

Volume (Year): 23 (2008)
Issue (Month): (October)
Pages: 601-649

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Handle: RePEc:bla:ecpoli:v:23:y:2008:i::p:601-649

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References

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  1. Winfried Koeniger & Marco Leonardi & Luca Nunziata, 2007. "Labor Market Institutions and Wage Inequality," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 60(3), pages 340-356, April.
  2. Daniele Checchi & Claudio Lucifora, 2002. "Unions and labour market institutions in Europe," Economic Policy, CEPR & CES & MSH, vol. 17(35), pages 361-408, October.
  3. Bentolila, Samuel & Saint-Paul, Gilles, 1998. "Explaining Movements in the Labour Share," CEPR Discussion Papers 1958, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Giuseppe Bertola & Francine D. Blau & Lawrence M. Kahn, 2001. "Comparative Analysis of Labor Market Outcomes: Lessons for the US from International Long-Run Evidence," NBER Working Papers 8526, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Andrea Bassanini & Romain Duval, 2006. "Employment Patterns in OECD Countries: Reassessing the Role of Policies and Institutions," OECD Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers 35, OECD Publishing.
  6. Li, Hongyi & Squire, Lyn & Zou, Heng-fu, 1998. "Explaining International and Intertemporal Variations in Income Inequality," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 108(446), pages 26-43, January.
  7. Hall, Peter A. & Soskice, David (ed.), 2001. "Varieties of Capitalism: The Institutional Foundations of Comparative Advantage," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199247752, September.
  8. Andrea Brandolini & Anthony B. Atkinson, 2001. "Promise and Pitfalls in the Use of "Secondary" Data-Sets: Income Inequality in OECD Countries As a Case Study," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 39(3), pages 771-799, September.
  9. Olivier Blanchard & Justin Wolfers, 1999. "The Role of Shocks and Institutions in the Rise of European Unemployment: The Aggregate Evidence," NBER Working Papers 7282, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Oaxaca, Ronald, 1973. "Male-Female Wage Differentials in Urban Labor Markets," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 14(3), pages 693-709, October.
  11. Bourguignon, Francois & Morrisson, Christian, 1998. "Inequality and development: the role of dualism," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(2), pages 233-257.
  12. Saint-Paul, Gilles, 2000. "The Political Economy of Labour Market Institutions," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198293323, September.
  13. Belot, Michèle & van Ours, Jan C., 2000. "Does the Recent Success of Some OECD Countries in Lowering their Unemployment Rates Lie in the Clever Design of their Labour Market Reform?," IZA Discussion Papers 147, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  14. David Card & Thomas Lemieux & W. Craig Riddell, 2004. "Unions and Wage Inequality," Journal of Labor Research, Transaction Publishers, vol. 25(4), pages 519-562, October.
  15. David H. Autor & William R. Kerr & Adriana D. Kugler, 2007. "Does Employment Protection Reduce Productivity? Evidence From US States," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(521), pages 189-217, 06.
  16. Andrea Brandolini & Timothy M. Smeeding, 2007. "Inequality Patterns in Western-Type Democracies: Cross-Country Differences and Time Changes," CHILD Working Papers wp08_07, CHILD - Centre for Household, Income, Labour and Demographic economics - ITALY.
  17. Barro, Robert J, 2000. " Inequality and Growth in a Panel of Countries," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 5(1), pages 5-32, March.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Philipp Doerrenberg & Andreas Peichl, 2012. "The Impact of Redistributive Policies on Inequality in OECD Countries," Cologne Graduate School Working Paper Series 03-05, Cologne Graduate School in Management, Economics and Social Sciences.
  2. Thibault Darcillon, 2012. "Do Interactions between Finance and Labor Market Institutions Affect Wage Distribution?," Documents de travail du Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne 12089, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1), Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne.
  3. Töngür, Ünal & Elveren, Adem Yavuz, 2014. "Deunionization and pay inequality in OECD Countries: A panel Granger causality approach," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 417-425.
  4. Giuseppe Bertola, 2008. "Labour Markets in EMU - What has changed and what needs to change," European Economy - Economic Papers 338, Directorate General Economic and Monetary Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.
  5. Jan Hogrefe & Marcus Kappler, 2013. "The labour share of income: heterogeneous causes for parallel movements?," Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer, vol. 11(3), pages 303-319, September.
  6. Herzer, Dierk, 2014. "Unions and income inequality: a heterogenous cointegration and causality analysis," Working Paper 146/2014, Helmut Schmidt University, Hamburg.
  7. Elsa Orgiazzi & Paul Maarek, 2010. "Which factor bears the cost of currency crises?," 2010 Meeting Papers 810, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  8. repec:hal:journl:halshs-00768908 is not listed on IDEAS
  9. Cristiano Perugini & Ekaterina Selezneva, 2013. "Labour Market Institutions, Crisis and Gender Earnings Gap in Eastern Europe," Working Papers 328, Institut für Ost- und Südosteuropaforschung (Institute for East and South-East European Studies).
  10. Salverda, Wiemer & Checchi, Daniele, 2014. "Labour-Market Institutions and the Dispersion of Wage Earnings," IZA Discussion Papers 8220, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  11. Judith Niehues, 2010. "Social Spending Generosity and Income Inequality: A Dynamic Panel Approach," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 336, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  12. Thibault Darcillon, 2012. "Do Interactions between Finance and Labor Market Institutions Affect Wage Distribution ?," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) halshs-00768908, HAL.
  13. Maurizio Franzini & Mario Pianta, 2011. "Explaining inequality in today’s capitalism," Working Papers 1108, University of Urbino Carlo Bo, Department of Economics, Society & Politics - Scientific Committee - L. Stefanini & G. Travaglini, revised 2011.
  14. Cecilia García-Peñalosa, 2010. "Income distribution, economic growth and European integration," Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer, vol. 8(3), pages 277-292, September.
  15. Opocher, Arrigo, 2009. "A Dual-Solovian Measure of Productivity Increase and its Early Antecedents," MPRA Paper 15541, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  16. Herwartz, Helmut & Niebuhr, Annekatrin, 2011. "Regional labor demand and national labor market institutions in the EU15," HWWI Research Papers 112, Hamburg Institute of International Economics (HWWI).

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