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

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  • Alan 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 Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section. in its series Working Papers with number 803.

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Date of creation: Sep 1999
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:pri:indrel:dsp013484zg916

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Keywords: labor compact; European Union; economic integration;

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References

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  1. Decressin, Jorg & Fatas, Antonio, 1995. "Regional labor market dynamics in Europe," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 39(9), pages 1627-1655, December.
  2. Eichengreen, Barry, 1993. "European Monetary Unification," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 31(3), pages 1321-57, September.
  3. Boeri, Tito & Nicoletti, Giuseppe & Scarpetta, Stefano, 2000. "Regulation And Labour Market Performance," CEPR Discussion Papers 2420, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Feldstein, Martin & Horioka, Charles, 1980. "Domestic Saving and International Capital Flows," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 90(358), pages 314-29, June.
  7. Sinn, Hans-Werner, 1998. "European Integration and the Future of the Welfare State," CEPR Discussion Papers 1871, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. Alan B. Krueger & John F. Burton, Jr., 1989. "The Employers' cost of Workers' Compensation Insurance: Magnitudes, Determinants, and Public Policy," NBER Working Papers 3029, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Charles Brown & James L. Medoff, 1989. "The Employer Size-Wage Effect," NBER Working Papers 2870, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. David Bradford, 1991. "Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 5," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number brad91-1, October.
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