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Rigidities in Employment Protection and Exporting

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  • Seker, Murat

Abstract

There have been significant improvements in traditional trade policies in the past few decades. However, these improvements can only be fully effective when they are complemented with a favorable investment climate. This study focuses on a particular aspect of investment climate, namely labor regulations, and shows how these regulations can be discouraging from exporting. Using firm level data from 26 countries in Eastern Europe and Central Asia region, the paper empirically shows that firms that cannot create new jobs due to stringent labor regulations are less likely to export. Firms that plan to export expand their sizes before they start to export. However the rigidities in labor markets make this adjustment process costly. Higher costs of employment decrease operating profits and lead to a higher productivity threshold level required for entering export markets. As a result, a smaller fraction of firms can afford to export.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 29907.

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Date of creation: Apr 2010
Date of revision: Feb 2011
Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:29907

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Keywords: Exporting; firm heterogeneity; labor regulations; developing countries; Eastern Europe and Central Asia region;

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  1. Almeida, Rita & Carneiro, Pedro, 2009. "Enforcement of labor regulation and firm size," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 28-46, March.
  2. Roberto Alvarez & Ricardo López, 2005. "Exporting and performance: evidence from Chilean plants," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 38(4), pages 1384-1400, November.
  3. Ricardo J Caballero & Kevin N Cowan & Eduardo M.R.A. Engel & Alejandro Micco, 2007. "Effective Labor Regulation and Microeconomic Flexibility," Levine's Bibliography 321307000000000990, UCLA Department of Economics.
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  7. Andrew Bernard & J. Bradford Jensen & Stephen Redding & Peter Schott, 2007. "Firms in International Trade," Working Papers 07-14, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
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  9. Brenton, Paul & Saborowski, Christian & von Uexkull, Erik, 2009. "What explains the low survival rate of developing country export flows ?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4951, The World Bank.
  10. Bernard, Andrew B. & Bradford Jensen, J., 1999. "Exceptional exporter performance: cause, effect, or both?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 1-25, February.
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  12. Steven J. Davis & John C. Haltiwanger & Scott Schuh, 1998. "Job Creation and Destruction," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262540932, December.
  13. Elhanan Helpman & Oleg Itskhoki, 2010. "Labour Market Rigidities, Trade and Unemployment," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 77(3), pages 1100-1137.
  14. Dollar, David & Hallward-Driemeier, Mary & Mengistae, Taye, 2006. "Investment climate and international integration," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 34(9), pages 1498-1516, September.
  15. Scarpetta, Stefano & Tressel, Thierry, 2004. "Boosting productivity via innovation and adoption of new technologies : any role for labor market institutions?," Social Protection Discussion Papers 29144, The World Bank.
  16. Kuddo, Arvo, 2009. "Labor laws in Eastern European and Central Asian countries : minimum norms and practices," Social Protection Discussion Papers 51698, The World Bank.
  17. Carmen Pagés-Serra & Alejandro Micco, 2008. "The Economic Effects of Employment Protection: Evidence from International Industry-Level Data," Research Department Publications 4496, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
  18. Pierre, Gaëlle & Scarpetta, Stefano, 2004. "Employment Regulations through the Eyes of Employers: Do They Matter and How Do Firms Respond to Them?," IZA Discussion Papers 1424, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  19. John Haltiwanger & Stefano Scarpetta & Helena Schweiger, 2008. "Assessing Job Flows Across Countries: The Role of Industry, Firm Size and Regulations," NBER Working Papers 13920, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. Timothy Besley & Robin Burgess, 2004. "Can Labor Regulation Hinder Economic Performance? Evidence from India," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 119(1), pages 91-134, February.
  21. Dollar, David & Hallward-Driemeier, Mary & Mengistae, Taye, 2005. "Investment Climate and Firm Performance in Developing Economies," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 54(1), pages 1-31, October.
  22. David Greenaway & Richard Kneller, 2007. "Firm heterogeneity, exporting and foreign direct investment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(517), pages F134-F161, 02.
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