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Anatomy of policy complementarities

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  • Orszag, Mike
  • Snower, Dennis J.
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    Abstract

    The analysis provides a new explanation for two widespread problems concerning European unemployment policy: the disappointingly small effect of many past reform measures on unemployment, and the political difficulties in implementing more extensive reform programs. We argue that the heart of these problems may be the failure of many European governments to implement broad-based reform strategies. Our analysis suggests that major unemployment policies are characterised by economic complementarities (in the sense that the effectiveness of one policy depends on the implementation of other policies) and political complementarities (in that the ability to gain political consent for one policy depends on the acceptance of other policies). Under these circumstances, incremental, small-scale adjustments of existing policy packages are doomed to failure. Our analysis suggests instead that the European unemployment problem should be tackled through ?broad? reforms that exploit the salient economic and political complementarities among individual policy measures. --

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW) in its series Open Access Publications from Kiel Institute for the World Economy with number 2252.

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    Date of creation: 1998
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    Handle: RePEc:zbw:ifwkie:2252

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    1. Daveri, Francesco & Tabellini, Guido, 1997. "Unemployment, Growth and Taxation in Industrial Countries," CEPR Discussion Papers 1681, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. Shapiro, Carl & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1984. "Equilibrium Unemployment as a Worker Discipline Device," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(3), pages 433-44, June.
    3. Coe, David T & Snower, Dennis J., 1997. "Policy Complementarities: The Case for Fundamental Labour Market Reform," CEPR Discussion Papers 1585, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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