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Unemployment and Labor-Market Reform: A Contract Theoretic Approach


  • Gruner, Hans Peter


Why do many democracies fail to reform their labor-market institutions? To answer this question we study the feasibility of reforms that include compensation to insiders for the removal of labor-market regulations. Under asymmetric information, a reformer who wants to buy the approval of voters has to pay them an informational rent in addition to the pure costs of compensation that would arise under symmetric information. In this setting, unemployment may be constrained Pareto-efficient. Labor-market reforms may fail politically because none of the reform packages proposed wins the approval of a majority of voters. We also discuss the role of capital taxation in a reform program. Copyright 2002 by The editors of the Scandinavian Journal of Economics.

Suggested Citation

  • Gruner, Hans Peter, 2002. " Unemployment and Labor-Market Reform: A Contract Theoretic Approach," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 104(4), pages 641-656, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:scandj:v:104:y:2002:i:4:p:641-56

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Carmen M. Reinhart & Graciela L. Kaminsky, 1999. "The Twin Crises: The Causes of Banking and Balance-of-Payments Problems," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(3), pages 473-500, June.
    2. Obstfeld, Maurice, 1997. "Destabilizing effects of exchange-rate escape clauses," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(1-2), pages 61-77, August.
    3. Bensaid, Bernard & Jeanne, Olivier, 1997. "The instability of fixed exchange rate systems when raising the nominal interest rate is costly," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 41(8), pages 1461-1478, August.
    4. Claessens, Stijn, 1991. "Balance of payments crises in an optimal portfolio model," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 81-101, January.
    5. Douglas W. Diamond & Philip H. Dybvig, 2000. "Bank runs, deposit insurance, and liquidity," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Win, pages 14-23.
    6. Flood, Robert P. & Garber, Peter M., 1984. "Collapsing exchange-rate regimes : Some linear examples," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(1-2), pages 1-13, August.
    7. Grilli, Vittorio U., 1986. "Buying and selling attacks on fixed exchange rate systems," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(1-2), pages 143-156, February.
    8. Carmen M. Reinhart & Sara Calvo, 1996. "Capital Flows to Latin America: Is There Evidence of Contagion Effects?," Peterson Institute Press: Chapters,in: Guillermo A. Calvo & Morris Goldstein & Eduard Hochreiter (ed.), Private Capital Flows to Emerging Markets After the Mexican Crisis, pages 151-171 Peterson Institute for International Economics.
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    Cited by:

    1. Jörg Lingens & Klaus Wälde, 2009. "Pareto-Improving Unemployment Policies," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 65(2), pages 220-245, June.
    2. Hefeker, Carsten & Neugart, Michael, 2010. "Labor market regulation and the legal system," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 218-225, September.
    3. 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.

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