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The Rise and Persistence of Rigidities

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  • Saint-Paul, Gilles

Abstract

In this paper we argue that employment protection legislation is more likely to arise when the rents earned by the employed over their alternative wage is greater. The model explains why economies with greater real wage rigidity also have greater employment protection. The model also predicts that lower turnover increases the political support for employment protection and that this political support is greater when employment protection is more harmful for employment. Also, rigidities are persistent as they create a constituency of low-productivity sectors whose workers would oppose the removal of firing costs, even though existing rents would not generate support for introducing them. We argue that tight labour markets due to post-war reconstruction needs in Europe made it easier for insiders to create such rents, which in turn led them to support employment protection legislation. In the late 1970s, rents started to fall but reforms proved difficult because of ratchet effects.
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Suggested Citation

  • Saint-Paul, Gilles, 1997. "The Rise and Persistence of Rigidities," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(2), pages 290-294, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:87:y:1997:i:2:p:290-94
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Pisauro, Giuseppe, 2002. "The beneficial effects of generous unemployment benefits on profits and employment," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 18(4), pages 739-760, November.
    2. Beatrice Scheubel, 2014. "Does It Pay to Be a Woman?: Labour Demand Effects of Maternity-Related Job Protection and Replacement Incomes," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 685, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    3. Friedrich Heinemann & Theocharis Grigoriadis, 2016. "Origins of reform resistance and the Southern European regime," Empirica, Springer;Austrian Institute for Economic Research;Austrian Economic Association, vol. 43(4), pages 661-691, November.
    4. Schob, Ronnie & Wildasin, David E., 2007. "Economic integration and labor market institutions: Worker mobility, earnings risk, and contract structure," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(2), pages 141-164, March.
    5. Nicola Acocella & Giovanni Di Bartolomeo, 2001. "Partisanship and fiscal policy co-ordination in a monetary union," Macroeconomics 0106003, EconWPA.
    6. Cees Gorter & Jacques Poot, 1998. "The impact of labour market deregulation: lessons from the "Kiwi" and "Polder" models," ERSA conference papers ersa98p481, European Regional Science Association.
    7. Gersbach, Hans & Schniewind, Achim, 2001. "Awareness of General Equilibrium Effects and Unemployment," IZA Discussion Papers 394, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    8. Friedrich Heinemann & Michael Förg & Eva Jonas & Eva Traut-Mattausch, 2008. "Psychologische Restriktionen wirtschaftspolitischer Reformen," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 9(4), pages 383-404, November.
    9. Belot, M.V.K., 2001. "Why is the Employment Protection Stricter in Europe than in the US?," Discussion Paper 2001-79, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
    10. Bartels, Bernhard, 2009. "The monetary transmission mechanism in the euro area: A VAR-analysis for Austria and Germany," Kiel Advanced Studies Working Papers 452, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    11. repec:wfo:wstudy:46881 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. repec:eee:labchp:v:3:y:1999:i:pc:p:2985-3028 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Mussida Chiara & Sciulli Dario, 2015. "Flexibility Policies and Re-employment Probabilities in Italy," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 15(2), pages 621-651, April.
    14. Franz Wolfgang & Pfeiffer Friedhelm, 2003. "Zur ökonomischen Rationalität von Lohnrigiditäten aus der Sicht von Unternehmen / The Rationale for Wage Rigidity: Employers' Viewpoint," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 223(1), pages 23-57, February.
    15. Cees Gorter & Jacques Poot, 1999. "The Impact of Labour Market Deregulation: Lessons from the," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 99-001/3, Tinbergen Institute.
    16. Siebert, W. Stanley, 2006. "Labour Market Regulation in the EU-15: Causes and Consequences – A Survey," IZA Discussion Papers 2430, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • E6 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook
    • J3 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs
    • J6 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers

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