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Structural reforms in Europe and the (in)coherence of institutions

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  • Bruno Amable

Abstract

The aim of this paper is to analyse the consequences of some structural reforms on the institutional coherence of OECD countries, particularly in Continental Europe, and on their economic performance, particularly as regards employment. Because institutions in developed political economies are interrelated through a complex network of complementarities, institutional change has consequences beyond the area concerned in a reform. This also implies that there are complementarity effects in reforms themselves. A challenge of reform programmes is therefore to achieve a new type of complementarity between reformed institutions. The paper presents empirical evidence questioning the compatibility of the ongoing structural reforms in product and labour markets with the existing institutional structures in some OECD countries. The coherence of the flexicurity strategy, i.e. a combination of labour-market flexibility and a generous welfare state, is also questioned, from the point of view of both economic efficiency and political economy. Copyright 2009, Oxford University Press.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Oxford University Press in its journal Oxford Review of Economic Policy.

Volume (Year): 25 (2009)
Issue (Month): 1 (Spring)
Pages: 17-39

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Handle: RePEc:oup:oxford:v:25:y:2009:i:1:p:17-39

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  1. Andrew Glyn, 2003. "Labor Market Institutions and Unemployment: A Critical Assessment of the Cross-Country Evidence," Economics Series Working Papers 168, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  2. Oliveira Martins, Joaquim & De Macedo, Jorge Braga, 2008. "Growth, Reform Indicators and Policy Complementarities," Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine 123456789/7960, Paris Dauphine University.
  3. Nickell, Stephen, 1999. "Product markets and labour markets1," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 1-20, March.
  4. Aoki, Masahiko, 1994. "The Contingent Governance of Teams: Analysis of Institutional Complementarity," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 35(3), pages 657-76, August.
  5. Bruno Amable & Donatella Gatti, 2005. "The political economy of job protection and income redistribution," PSE Working Papers halshs-00590841, HAL.
  6. Saint-Paul, Gilles, 2000. "The Political Economy of Labour Market Institutions," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198293323, September.
  7. Amable, Bruno & Gatti, Donatella, 2004. "Labour and Product Market Reforms: A Case for Policy Complementarity," IZA Discussion Papers 1190, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. Bruno Amable & Donatella Gatti, 2004. "Product market competition, job security, and aggregate employment," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 56(4), pages 667-686, October.
  9. Richard Freeman, 2005. "Labour market institutions without blinders: The debate over flexibility and labour market performance," International Economic Journal, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 19(2), pages 129-145.
  10. Amable, Bruno & Demmou, Lilas & Gatti, Donatella, 2007. "Employment Performance and Institutions: New Answers to an Old Question," IZA Discussion Papers 2731, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  11. Amable, Bruno, 2003. "The Diversity of Modern Capitalism," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199261147, September.
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Cited by:
  1. Hans Pitlik & Margit Schratzenstaller, 2011. "Growth Implications of Structure and Size of Public Sectors," WIFO Working Papers 404, WIFO.
  2. Bruno Amable, 2014. "The unsolved contradictions of the modernists. Economic policy expectations and political crisis in France 1978-2012," Documents de travail du Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne 14023, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1), Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne.
  3. Alberto Chilosi, 2014. "Long-Term Unemployment in the Varieties of Capitalism," Zagreb International Review of Economics and Business, Faculty of Economics and Business, University of Zagreb, vol. 17(1), pages 69-78, May.
  4. repec:hal:journl:halshs-00639450 is not listed on IDEAS
  5. Bruno Amable & Elvire Guillaud & Stefano Palombarini, 2011. "The political economy of neo-liberalism in Italy and France," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) halshs-00639450, HAL.
  6. Baptiste Françon & Michaël Zemmour, 2013. "What shapes the generosity of short- and long-term benefits? A political economy approach," Documents de travail du Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne 13027, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1), Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne.
  7. David R. Howell, 2010. "Institutions, Aggregate Demand and Cross-Country Employment Performance: Alternative Theoretical Perspectives and the Evidence," Working Papers wp228, Political Economy Research Institute, University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

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