IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Business Cycle Comovement and Labor Market Institutions: An Empirical Investigation


  • Raquel Fonseca
  • Lise Patureau
  • Thepthida Sopraseuth


This paper examines the empirical link between labor market institutions and international business cycle synchronization. Using a data panel of 20 OECD countries over the 1964-2003 period, we evaluate how cross-country labor market heterogeneity affects business cycle comovement. Our estimation strategy controls for a large set of possible factors influencing cross-country GDP correlation, which allows a comparison of our results with those found in previous studies. We find that bilateral trade, trade similarity, monetary and fiscal convergence, as well as EMU membership lead to more synchronized cycles. Our results show that labor market regulations affect the extent of business cycle synchronization. Disparities in employment protection laws and direct taxation tend to lower international comovement while divergence in union density, unemployment benefits, and indirect taxation enhance cross-country correlations. The level of labor market regulations also matters. Heavier employment taxes are found to raise GDP comovement. Copyright © 2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Suggested Citation

  • Raquel Fonseca & Lise Patureau & Thepthida Sopraseuth, 2010. "Business Cycle Comovement and Labor Market Institutions: An Empirical Investigation," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 18(5), pages 865-881, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:reviec:v:18:y:2010:i:5:p:865-881

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    File Function: link to full text
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Frankel, Jeffrey A & Rose, Andrew K, 1998. "The Endogeneity of the Optimum Currency Area Criteria," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 108(449), pages 1009-1025, July.
    2. Michèle Belot & Jan C. van Ours, 2004. "Does the recent success of some OECD countries in lowering their unemployment rates lie in the clever design of their labor market reforms?," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 56(4), pages 621-642, October.
    3. Stockman, Alan C., 1988. "Sectoral and national aggregate disturbances to industrial output in seven European countries," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(2-3), pages 387-409.
    4. Jakob de Haan & Robert Inklaar & Richard Jong-A-Pin, 2008. "Will Business Cycles In The Euro Area Converge? A Critical Survey Of Empirical Research," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 22(2), pages 234-273, April.
    5. Rose, Andrew K & Engel, Charles, 2002. "Currency Unions and International Integration," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 34(4), pages 1067-1089, November.
    6. Baxter, Marianne & Kouparitsas, Michael A., 2005. "Determinants of business cycle comovement: a robust analysis," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(1), pages 113-157, January.
    7. Olivier Blanchard & Francesco Giavazzi, 2003. "Macroeconomic Effects of Regulation and Deregulation in Goods and Labor Markets," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(3), pages 879-907.
    8. Zsolt Darvas & Andrew K. Rose & Gyorgy Szapary, 2005. "Fiscal Divergence and Business Cycle Synchronization: Irresponsibility is Idiosyncratic," NBER Chapters,in: NBER International Seminar on Macroeconomics 2005, pages 261-298 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Andrew K. Rose, 2000. "One money, one market: the effect of common currencies on trade," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 15(30), pages 7-46, April.
    10. Jean Imbs, 2004. "Trade, Finance, Specialization, and Synchronization," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(3), pages 723-734, August.
    11. Schleer, Frauke & Sachs, Andreas, 2009. "Labour Market Institutions and Structural Reforms: A Source for Business Cycle Synchronisation?," ZEW Discussion Papers 09-008, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    12. Inklaar, Robert & Jong-A-Pin, Richard & de Haan, Jakob, 2008. "Trade and business cycle synchronization in OECD countries--A re-examination," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 52(4), pages 646-666, May.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Gnocchi, Stefano & Lagerborg, Andresa & Pappa, Evi, 2015. "Do labor market institutions matter for business cycles?," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 299-317.
    2. Michael J. Artis & Jarko Fidrmuc & Johann Scharler, 2008. "The transmission of business cycles," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 16(3), pages 559-582, July.
    3. Fabio Rumler & Johann Scharler, 2011. "Labor Market Institutions And Macroeconomic Volatility In A Panel Of Oecd Countries," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 58(3), pages 396-413, July.
    4. J.-S. Pentecôte & J.-C. Poutineau & F. Rondeau, 2015. "Trade Integration and Business Cycle Synchronization in the EMU: The Negative Effect of New Trade Flows," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 26(1), pages 61-79, February.
    5. Stefano Gnocchi & Evi Pappa, "undated". "Do labor market rigidities matter for business cycles? Yes they do," Working Papers 411, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
    6. Faccini, Renato & Rosazza Bondibene, Chiara, 2012. "Labour market institutions and unemployment volatility: evidence from OECD countries," Bank of England working papers 461, Bank of England.
    7. repec:spr:jbuscr:v:13:y:2017:i:2:d:10.1007_s41549-017-0018-5 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. repec:taf:irapec:v:31:y:2017:i:2:p:255-282 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Cook, David & Xu, Juanyi, 2015. "Eurosclerosis and international business cycles," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(1), pages 54-67.
    10. Hasan Engin Duran & Alexandra Ferreira-Lopes, 2017. "Determinants of co-movement and of lead and lag behavior of business cycles in the Eurozone," International Review of Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 31(2), pages 255-282, March.
    11. Vadim Kufenko & Niels Geiger, 2017. "Stylized Facts of the Business Cycle: Universal Phenomenon, or Institutionally Determined?," Journal of Business Cycle Research, Springer;Centre for International Research on Economic Tendency Surveys (CIRET), vol. 13(2), pages 165-187, November.
    12. Douglas Sutherland & Peter Hoeller, 2013. "Growth-promoting Policies and Macroeconomic Stability," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 1091, OECD Publishing.
    13. Fidrmuc, Jarko & Foster, Neil & Scharler, Johann, 2011. "Labour market rigidities and international risk sharing across OECD countries," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 660-677, June.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F42 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - International Policy Coordination and Transmission
    • C23 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
    • J32 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Nonwage Labor Costs and Benefits; Retirement Plans; Private Pensions
    • J52 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining - - - Dispute Resolution: Strikes, Arbitration, and Mediation


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bla:reviec:v:18:y:2010:i:5:p:865-881. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Wiley-Blackwell Digital Licensing) or (Christopher F. Baum). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.