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Labor market institutions: Curse or blessing?

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  • Ochsen, Carsten
  • Welsch, Heinz

Abstract

Previous literature has identified considerable non-pecuniary costs to macroeconomic fluctuation and uncertainty. The present paper investigates whether and to what extent labor market institutions can mitigate those costs. We study how life satisfaction of European citizens is affected by employment protection and the level and duration of unemployment benefit payments. We differentiate between direct effects (at given macroeconomic conditions) and total effects (including the feedback through the institutions' effect on macroeconomic outcomes). We find that the total effect of employment protection is positive, whereas the total effect of benefit duration is negative. The direct and indirect effects of a higher benefit level nearly neutralize each other. --

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Rostock, Institute of Economics in its series Thuenen-Series of Applied Economic Theory with number 62.

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Date of creation: 2006
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:roswps:62

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Related research

Keywords: unemployment benefit; employment protection; macroeconomic uncertainty; cost-benefit analysis; life satisfaction; happiness;

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  1. Olivier Blanchard & Justin Wolfers, 1999. "The Role of Shocks and Institutions in the Rise of European Unemployment: The Aggregate Evidence," NBER Working Papers 7282, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Winkelmann, Liliana & Winkelmann, Rainer, 1998. "Why Are the Unemployed So Unhappy? Evidence from Panel Data," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 65(257), pages 1-15, February.
  3. Layard, Richard & Nickell, Stephen & Jackman, Richard, 2005. "Unemployment: Macroeconomic Performance and the Labour Market," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199279173, September.
  4. Stephen Nickell & Luca Nunziata & Wolfgang Ochel, 2005. "Unemployment in the OECD Since the 1960s. What Do We Know?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 115(500), pages 1-27, 01.
  5. Belot, M.V.K. & Ours, J.C. van, 2001. "Unemployment and labor market institutions: An empirical analysis," Open Access publications from Tilburg University urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-89213, Tilburg University.
  6. Jean-Paul Fitoussi & David Jestaz & Edmund S. Phelps & Gylfi Zoega, 2000. "Roots of the Recent Recoveries: Labor Reforms or Private Sector Forces?," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 31(1), pages 237-311.
  7. Justin Wolfers, 2003. "Is Business Cycle Volatility Costly? Evidence from Surveys of Subjective Wellbeing," NBER Working Papers 9619, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Carol Graham & Stefano Pettinato, 2001. "Happiness, Markets, and Democracy: Latin America in Comparative Perspective," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 2(3), pages 237-268, September.
  9. Robert J. MacCulloch & Rafael Di Tella & Andrew J. Oswald, 2001. "Preferences over Inflation and Unemployment: Evidence from Surveys of Happiness," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(1), pages 335-341, March.
  10. Christian Bjornskov, 2003. "The Happy Few: Cross--Country Evidence on Social Capital and Life Satisfaction," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 56(1), pages 3-16, February.
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