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From Bismarck to Maastricht: The March to European Union and the Labor Compact

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  • Alan B. Krueger

Abstract

This paper considers the likely impact that European Union (EU) will have on the labor compact. It is argued that, despite increased economic integration in Europe, countries will still be able to maintain distinct labor practices if they are willing to bear the cost of those practices. The incidence of many social protections probably already falls on workers. In addition, it is argued that imperfect mobility of capital, labor, goods and services will limit the pressure that integration will place on the labor compact. Evidence is presented suggesting that labor mobility among EU countries has not increased after the elimination of remaining restrictions on intra-EU labor mobility in 1993. Moreover, immigration from non-EU countries, which is much larger than intra-EU migration, has declined since 1993. Evidence is also reviewed suggesting that the demand for social protection rises when countries are more open, and therefore subject to more severe external shocks. This finding suggests that increased economic integration and European Monetary Union could lead to greater demand for social protection. The U.S. experience with state workers' compensation insurance programs is offered as an example of enduring differences in labor market protections in highly integrated regional economies with a common currency.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 7456.

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Date of creation: Jan 2000
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Publication status: published as Labour Economics, Vol. 7, no. 2 (March 2000): 117-134
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:7456

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  1. Martin Feldstein & Charles Horioka, 1979. "Domestic Savings and International Capital Flows," NBER Working Papers 0310, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Jonathan Gruber & Alan B. Krueger, 1990. "The Incidence of Mandated Employer-Provided Insurance: Lessons from Workers' Compensation Insurance," NBER Working Papers 3557, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Decressin, Jorg & Fatas, Antonio, 1995. "Regional labor market dynamics in Europe," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 39(9), pages 1627-1655, December.
  4. Cukierman, Alex & Tommasi, Mariano, 1998. "When Does It Take a Nixon to Go to China?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(1), pages 180-97, March.
  5. Brown, Charles & Medoff, James, 1989. "The Employer Size-Wage Effect," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(5), pages 1027-59, October.
  6. Eichengreen, Barry, 1993. "European Monetary Unification," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 31(3), pages 1321-57, September.
  7. Krueger, Alan B & Burton, John F, Jr, 1990. "The Employers' Costs of Workers' Compensation Insurance: Magnitudes, Determinants, and Public Policy," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 72(2), pages 228-40, May.
  8. Calmfors, Lars, 1998. "Macroeconomic Policy, Wage Setting and Employment - What Difference Does the EMU Make?," Seminar Papers 657, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
  9. Dani Rodrik, 1997. "Has Globalization Gone Too Far?," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number 57.
  10. Agell, Jonas, 1999. "On the Benefits from Rigid Labour Markets: Norms, Market Failures, and Social Insurance," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(453), pages F143-64, February.
  11. David Bradford, 1991. "Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 5," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number brad91-1.
  12. Papke, Leslie E., 1991. "Interstate business tax differentials and new firm location : Evidence from panel data," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(1), pages 47-68, June.
  13. Sinn, Hans-Werner, 1998. "European Integration and the Future of the Welfare State," CEPR Discussion Papers 1871, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  14. Boeri, Tito & Nicoletti, Giuseppe & Scarpetta, Stefano, 2000. "Regulation And Labour Market Performance," CEPR Discussion Papers 2420, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  15. Krueger, Alan B & Summers, Lawrence H, 1988. "Efficiency Wages and the Inter-industry Wage Structure," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(2), pages 259-93, March.
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