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Product Market Reforms, Labour Market Institutions and Unemployment

  • Rachel Griffith
  • Rupert Harrison
  • Gareth Macartney

We analyse the impact of product market competition on unemployment, and how this depends on labour market institutions. Theoretically, both firms with market power and unions with bargaining power are constrained in their behaviour by the elasticity of demand in the product market. We use differential changes in regulations across OECD countries over the 1980s and 1990s to identify the effects of competition. We find that increased competition reduces unemployment, more so in countries with labour market institutions that increase worker bargaining power. We also find that competition increases real wages but less so when bargaining power is high. Copyright 2007 The Author(s). Journal compilation Royal Economic Society 2007.

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Article provided by Royal Economic Society in its journal The Economic Journal.

Volume (Year): 117 (2007)
Issue (Month): 519 (03)
Pages: C142-C166

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Handle: RePEc:ecj:econjl:v:117:y:2007:i:519:p:c142-c166
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  1. Bertrand, Marianne & Kramarz, Francis, 2001. "Does Entry Regulation Hinder Job Creation? Evidence from the French Retail Industry," CEPR Discussion Papers 3039, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Nickell, Stephen, 1999. "Product markets and labour markets1," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 1-20, March.
  3. Belot, Michele & van Ours, Jan C., 2001. "Unemployment and Labor Market Institutions: An Empirical Analysis," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 15(4), pages 403-418, December.
  4. Giuseppe Nicoletti & Stefano Scarpetta, 2005. "Product Market Reforms and Employment in OECD Countries," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 472, OECD Publishing.
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