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Labour-market Institutions and Macroeconomic Shocks

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  • Yu-Fu Chen
  • Dennis Snower
  • Gylfi Zoega

Abstract

Macroeconomic shocks and labour-market institutions jointly determine employment growth and economic performance. The effect of shocks depends on the nature of these institutions and the effect of institutional change depends on the macroeconomic environment. It follows that a given set of institutions may be appropriate at certain times in some countries while not appropriate elsewhere. We derive a dynamic model of labour demand in which the effect of firing costs on labour demand depends on the macroeconomic environment: When the level of macroeconomic activity is expected to drop and/or the trend rate of productivity growth is small, a rise in firing costs affects mainly (and adversely) the hiring decision and not the firing decision. This makes firing costs harmful when they may appear to be most appropriate. The intuition behind these results is quite straightforward: When managers fear that demand may fall in the future they value the right to fire workers. It follows that by making this option more costly, firing costs reduce the value of workers with adverse consequences for hiring and firing.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by CEIS in its journal Labour.

Volume (Year): 17 (2003)
Issue (Month): 2 (06)
Pages: 247-270

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Handle: RePEc:bla:labour:v:17:y:2003:i:2:p:247-270

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References

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  1. Nickell, S. & Layard, R., 1997. "Labour Market Institutions and Economic Performance," Papers 23, Centre for Economic Performance & Institute of Economics.
  2. Layard, Richard & Nickell, Stephen & Jackman, Richard, 2005. "Unemployment: Macroeconomic Performance and the Labour Market," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199279173.
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  10. Jean-Paul Fitoussi & David Jestaz & Edmund S Phelps & Gylfi Zoega, 2000. "Roots of the Recent Recoveries: Labor Reforms or Private Sector Forces?," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/5571, Sciences Po.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Hénin, Pierre-Yves & Weitzenblum, Thomas, 2003. "Employment protection and the stock market: The common shock case," CEPREMAP Working Papers (Couverture Orange) 0306, CEPREMAP.
  2. Diaz-Vazquez, Pilar & Snower, Dennis J., 2004. "On-the-Job Training, Firing Costs and Employment," CEPR Discussion Papers 4241, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Robert Krol & Shirley Svorny, 2007. "Unions and Employment Growth: Evidence from State Economic Recoveries," Journal of Labor Research, Springer, vol. 28(3), pages 525-535, July.
  4. Bjørnstad, Roger & Kalstad, Kjartan Øren, 2010. "Increased price markup from union coordination: OECD panel evidence," Economics Discussion Papers 2010-13, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
  5. Buscher, Herbert & Dreger, Christian & Ramos, Raul & Surinach, Jordi, 2005. "The Impact of Institutions on the Employment Performance in European Labour Markets," IZA Discussion Papers 1732, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Martin Heipertz & Melanie Ward-Warmedinger, 2008. "Economic and Social Models in Europe and the Importance of Reform," Financial Theory and Practice, Institute of Public Finance, vol. 32(3), pages 255-287.
  7. Yu-Fu Chen & Michael Funke, 2003. "Labour Demand in Germany: An Assessment of Non- Wage Labour Costs," Dundee Discussion Papers in Economics 154, Economic Studies, University of Dundee.
  8. Yu-Fu Chen & Gylfi Zoega, 2011. "Floating Exchange Rates as Employment Protection," DEGIT Conference Papers c016_038, DEGIT, Dynamics, Economic Growth, and International Trade.
  9. Norbert Berthold & Rainer Fehn, 2003. "Unemployment in Germany: Reasons and Remedies," CESifo Working Paper Series 871, CESifo Group Munich.
  10. Steffen Ahrens & Dennis Wesselbaum, 2009. "On the Introduction of Firing Costs," Kiel Working Papers 1559, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
  11. Kim, Jaewon, 2011. "Why do Some Studies Show that Generous Unemployment Benefits Increase Unemployment Rates? A Meta-Analysis of Cross-Country Studies," Research Papers in Economics 2011:18, Stockholm University, Department of Economics.

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