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Two-Tier Labor Markets in the Great Recession: France vs. Spain

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Author Info

  • Bentolila, Samuel

    ()
    (CEMFI, Madrid)

  • Cahuc, Pierre

    ()
    (Ecole Polytechnique, Paris)

  • Dolado, Juan J.

    ()
    (Universidad Carlos III de Madrid)

  • Le Barbanchon, Thomas

    ()
    (CREST)

Abstract

This paper analyzes the strikingly different response of unemployment to the Great Recession in France and Spain. Their labor market institutions are similar and their unemployment rates just before the crisis were both around 8%. Yet, in France, unemployment rate has increased by 2 percentage points, whereas in Spain it has shot up to 19% by the end of 2009. We assess what part of this differential is due to the larger gap between the dismissal costs of permanent and temporary contracts and the less restrictive rules regarding the use of the latter contracts in Spain. Using a calibrated search and matching model, we estimate that about 45% of the surge in Spanish unemployment could have been avoided had Spain adopted French employment protection legislation before the crisis started.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 5340.

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Length: 55 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2010
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Economic Journal (2012), 122, 155-187.
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp5340

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Keywords: unemployment; temporary contracts; Great Recession;

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References

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  1. Bentolila, Samuel & Dolado, Juan J. & Jimeno, Juan Francisco, 2007. "Does Immigration Affect the Phillips Curve? Some Evidence for Spain," CEPR Discussion Papers 6604, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Becker, Sascha O. & Bentolila, Samuel & Fernandes, Ana & Ichino, Andrea, 2005. "Youth Emancipation and Perceived Job Insecurity of Parents and Children," CEPR Discussion Papers 5338, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Cahuc, Pierre & Postel-Vinay, Fabien, 2001. "Temporary Jobs, Employment Protection and Labor Market Performance," IZA Discussion Papers 260, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Samuel Bentolila & Andrea Ichino, 2008. "Unemployment and consumption near and far away from the Mediterranean," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 21(2), pages 255-280, April.
  5. Kramarz, Francis & Philippon, Thomas, 2001. "The impact of differential payroll tax subsidies on minimum wage employment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 82(1), pages 115-146, October.
  6. L'Haridon, Olivier & Malherbe, Franck, 2008. "Employment protection reform in search economies," Les Cahiers de Recherche 910, HEC Paris.
  7. F. Bouvet, 2012. "The Beveridge curve in Europe: new evidence using national and regional data," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 44(27), pages 3585-3604, September.
  8. Miguel-Angel Lopez-Garcia, 2004. "Housing, prices and tax policy in Spain," Spanish Economic Review, Springer, vol. 6(1), pages 29-52, April.
  9. Ichino, Andrea & Riphahn, Regina, 2003. "The Effect of Employment Protection on Worker Effort: A Comparison of Absenteeism During and After Probation," CEPR Discussion Papers 3847, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. Samuel Bentolila & Juan F. Jimeno, 2003. "Spanish Unemployment: The End of the Wild Ride?," CESifo Working Paper Series 940, CESifo Group Munich.
  11. Petrongolo, Barbara & Pissarides, Christopher, 2000. "Looking Into The Black Box: A Survey Of The Matching Function," CEPR Discussion Papers 2409, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  12. Wasmer, E., 1997. "Competition for Jobs in a Growing Economy and the Emergence of Dualism," DELTA Working Papers 97-13, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
  13. Olivier Blanchard & Augustin Landier, 2001. "The Perverse Effects of Partial Labor Market Reform: Fixed Duration Contracts in France," NBER Working Papers 8219, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Yolanda Rebollo Sanz & J. Ignacio García-Pérez, 2009. "Do wage subsidies affect the subsequent employment stability of permanent workers?: the case of Spain," Working Papers 09.18, Universidad Pablo de Olavide, Department of Economics.
  15. Martin Werding (ed.), 2006. "Structural Unemployment in Western Europe: Reasons and Remedies," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262232464, December.
  16. Saint-Paul, Gilles, 2000. "The Political Economy of Labour Market Institutions," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198293323, September.
  17. Bentolila, Samuel & Saint-Paul, Gilles, 1992. "The macroeconomic impact of flexible labor contracts, with an application to Spain," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 36(5), pages 1013-1047, June.
  18. Hector Sala & José I. Silva & Manuel Toledo, 2012. "Flexibility at the Margin and Labor Market Volatility in OECD Countries," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 114(3), pages 991-1017, 09.
  19. James Costain & Juan F. Jimeno & Carlos Thomas, 2010. "Employment fluctuations in a dual labor market," Banco de Espa�a Working Papers 1013, Banco de Espa�a.
  20. Pierre Cahuc & Stéphane Carcillo, 2006. "The Shortcomings of a Partial Release of Employment Protection Laws," IMF Working Papers 06/301, International Monetary Fund.
  21. Christopher A. Pissarides, 2000. "Equilibrium Unemployment Theory, 2nd Edition," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262161877, December.
  22. Rupert, Peter & Wasmer, Etienne, 2009. "Housing and the Labor Market: Time to Move and Aggregate Unemployment," IZA Discussion Papers 4172, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  23. Samuel Bentolila, . "Internal migration in Spain," Working Papers 2001-07, FEDEA.
  24. Bentolila, Samuel & Saint-Paul, Gilles, 1991. "The Macroeconomic Impact of Flexible Labour Contracts: An Application to Spain," CEPR Discussion Papers 596, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  25. Mortensen, Dale T & Pissarides, Christopher A, 1994. "Job Creation and Job Destruction in the Theory of Unemployment," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 61(3), pages 397-415, July.
  26. P Garibaldi, 1995. "Job Flow Dynamics and Firing Restrictions," CEP Discussion Papers dp0256, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  27. Samuel Bentolila & Juan Jose Dolado & Juan F. Jimeno, 2008. "Two-tier Employment Protection Reforms: The Spanish Experience," CESifo DICE Report, Ifo Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 6(4), pages 49-56, December.
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As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. Spain: how to mess with the labor market
    by Economic Logician in Economic Logic on 2011-01-19 15:13:00
  2. Two-Tier Labor Markets in the Great Recession: France vs. Spain
    by maximorossi in NEP-LTV blog on 2010-12-13 13:39:18
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