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Labour and Product Market Reforms in the Economy with Distortionary Taxation

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  • Nikola Bokan

    ()

  • Andrew Hughes Hallett

    ()

Abstract

It is widely accepted that in order to improve the economic position of the EU relative to the USA certain structural reforms need to be undertaken, mainly in the labour market. However few EU countries have undertaken such reforms. The reason lies in the fact that those reforms are going to be costly in terms of economic performance, unemployment and hence the cost of financing them - at least in the short term. Blanchard and Giavazzi (2003) develop a model based on imperfect competition in both product and labour markets in order to show the impact of deregulation on the economy. However they do not consider the question of how to finance such reforms or overcome the short run costs, a key consideration if the short run costs are large relative to the long run gains. We extend their model by including the effects of another inevitable source of imperfections: distortionary taxation - not only the most likely candidate for reform, but also the most likely instrument for financing the restructuring process. By extending the model in this way we can establish formally that reforms imply significant short run costs as well as long run gains; that (political opposition apart) the financing of such reforms will be the main stumbling block. We come to a number of conclusions which reverse the Blanchard and Giavazzi results; and find that, in addition, the composition of the reform package matters, as does the distribution of the tax burden. This model therefore supplies new results on the design and sequencing of reforms.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Centre for Dynamic Macroeconomic Analysis in its series CDMA Working Paper Series with number 200604.

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Date of creation: 15 Jan 2006
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Handle: RePEc:san:cdmawp:0604

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Keywords: Structural Reform; Wage Bargains; Short vs Long Run Sustainability.;

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  1. Olivier Blanchard & Francesco Giavazzi, . "Macroeconomic effects of regulation and deregulation in goods and labor markets," Working Papers 187, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  2. Harris Dellas & George Tavlas, 2005. "Wage Rigidity and Monetary Union," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 115(506), pages 907-927, October.
  3. Torben M. Andersen & Niels Haldrup & Jan Rose Sørensen, 2000. "Labour market implications of EU product market integration," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 15(30), pages 105-134, 04.
  4. Anne C. Sibert & Alan Sutherland, . "Monetary Regimes and Labour Market Reform," Discussion Papers 97/14, Department of Economics, University of York.
  5. André Sapir & Philippe Aghion & Giuseppe Bertola & Martin Hellwig & Jean Pisani-Ferry & Bernard Lange & José Viñals & Helen Wallace & Marco Buti & Mario Nava & Peter Smith, 2004. "An agenda for a growing Europe: the Sapir report," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/8070, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  6. Jeffrey A. Frankel & Andrew K. Rose, 1996. "The Endogeneity of the Optimum Currency Area Criteria," NBER Working Papers 5700, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Hallett, Andrew Hughes & Jensen, Svend E. Hougaard & Richter, Christian, 2005. "The European economy at the cross roads: Structural reforms, fiscal constraints, and the Lisbon Agenda," Research in International Business and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 229-250, June.
  8. Sibert, Anne, 1999. "Monetary Integration and Economic Reform," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(452), pages 78-92, January.
  9. Koedijk, C.G. & Kremers, J., 1996. "Market opening, regulation and growth in Europe," Open Access publications from Tilburg University urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-3108676, Tilburg University.
  10. Calmfors, Lars, 1998. "Macroeconomic Policy, Wage Setting, and Employment--What Difference Does the EMU Make?," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 14(3), pages 125-51, Autumn.
  11. Bruno, Michael, 1986. "Aggregate Supply and Demand Factors in OECD Unemployment: An Update," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 53(210(S)), pages S35-52, Supplemen.
  12. Dobbelaere, Sabien, 2004. "Estimation of price-cost margins and union bargaining power for Belgian manufacturing," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 22(10), pages 1381-1398, December.
  13. Hughes Hallett, Andrew & Viegi, Nicola, 2001. "Labour Market Reform and Monetary Policy in EMU: Do Asymmetries Matter?," CEPR Discussion Papers 2979, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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Cited by:
  1. Bokan, Nikola & Hughes Hallett, Andrew, 2008. "The Impact of Tax and Market Distortions on the Phillips Curve and the Natural Rate of Unemployment," Economics - The Open-Access, Open-Assessment E-Journal, Kiel Institute for the World Economy, vol. 2(27), pages 1-28.
  2. Andrew Hughes Hallett, 2010. "Why Do Some Countries Undertake Structural Reforms When Others Do Not? Evidence From The Oecd And Emerging Market Economies," Journal of International Commerce, Economics and Policy (JICEP), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 1(01), pages 81-103.

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