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Jobless growth: appropriability, factor substitution, and unemployment

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  • Caballero, Ricardo J.
  • Hammour, Mohamad L.

Abstract

A central determinant of the political economy of capital-labor relations is the appropriability of specific quasi-rents. " This paper is concerned with the general-equilibrium interaction of appropriability and characteristics of technology namely, the embodiment of technology in capital and capital-labor substitutability in the technological menu. Technological embodiment means that the supply of capital is effectively much less elastic in the short than in the long run, and is therefore more exposed to appropriability; technology choice implies that an attempt at appropriating capital will induce a substitution away from labor in the long run, and constitutes a mechanism to thwart appropriation. Shifts in European labor relations in the last three decades offer a good laboratory to explore the empirical relevance of those mechanisms. The evolution of the labor share, the profit rate, the capital/output ratio, and unemployment which we examine more particularly in the case of France appears highly supportive.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy.

Volume (Year): 48 (1998)
Issue (Month): 1 (June)
Pages: 51-94

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Handle: RePEc:eee:crcspp:v:48:y:1998:i::p:51-94

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  1. David Coe & Dennis Snower, 1996. "Policy Complementarities: The Case for Fundamental Labor Market Reform," Archive Discussion Papers 9625, Birkbeck, Department of Economics, Mathematics & Statistics.
  2. Mark Keese & GĂ©rard Salou & Pete Richardson, 1991. "The Measurement of Output and Factors of Production for the Business Sector in OECD Countries (The OECD Business Sector Database)," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 99, OECD Publishing.
  3. Lazear, Edward P, 1990. "Job Security Provisions and Employment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 105(3), pages 699-726, August.
  4. Dennis J. Snower & David T. Coe, 1996. "Policy Complementarities," IMF Working Papers 96/93, International Monetary Fund.
  5. Emerson, Michael, 1988. "Regulation or deregulation of the labour market : Policy regimes for the recruitment and dismissal of employees in the industrialised countries," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 32(4), pages 775-817, April.
  6. Wolff, Edward N, 1996. "The Productivity Slowdown: The Culprit at Last? Follow-Up on Hulten and Wolff," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(5), pages 1239-52, December.
  7. Dale T. Mortensen, 1978. "Specific Capital and Labor Turnover," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 9(2), pages 572-586, Autumn.
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