IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/inecon/v75y2008i1p151-166.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Trade and the (dis)incentive to reform labor markets: The case of reform in the European Union

Author

Listed:
  • Alessandria, George
  • Delacroix, Alain

Abstract

We study the relation between international trade and the gains to reform labor markets by removing firing restrictions. We find that trade linkages imply substantially smaller benefits to reform than those calculated in the closed economy general equilibrium model of Hopenhayn and Rogerson [Hopenhayn, Hugo, Rogerson, Richard, 1993. Job Turnover and policy evaluations: a general equilibrium analysis. Journal of Political Economy 101 (5), 915-938 October]. When economies trade, labor market policies in one country spill over to other countries through their effect on the terms of trade. A key finding in the open economy is that the share of the welfare gains from domestic labor market reform exported substantially exceeds the share of goods exported. Thus, with international trade, a country retains little to no benefit from unilaterally reforming its labor market. A coordinated elimination of firing taxes yields considerable benefits. We also find that the U.K. benefits from labor market reform by its continental trading partners. These insights provide some explanation for recent efforts toward labor market reform in the European Union.

Suggested Citation

  • Alessandria, George & Delacroix, Alain, 2008. "Trade and the (dis)incentive to reform labor markets: The case of reform in the European Union," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 75(1), pages 151-166, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:inecon:v:75:y:2008:i:1:p:151-166
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0022-1996(08)00011-1
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    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

    as
    1. Tito Boeri & Giuseppe Nicoletti & Stefano Scarpetta, "undated". "Regulation and Labour Market Performance," Working Papers 158, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
    2. Bernard, Andrew B. & Bradford Jensen, J., 1999. "Exceptional exporter performance: cause, effect, or both?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 1-25, February.
    3. Giancarlo Corsetti & Luca Dedola & Sylvain Leduc, 2008. "International Risk Sharing and the Transmission of Productivity Shocks," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 75(2), pages 443-473.
    4. Hansen, Gary D., 1985. "Indivisible labor and the business cycle," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 309-327, November.
    5. Andrew B. Bernard & Jonathan Eaton & J. Bradford Jensen & Samuel Kortum, 2003. "Plants and Productivity in International Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(4), pages 1268-1290, September.
    6. Karen K. Lewis, 1999. "Trying to Explain Home Bias in Equities and Consumption," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(2), pages 571-608, June.
    7. Gilles Saint-Paul, 2002. "The Political Economy of Employment Protection," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(3), pages 672-701, June.
    8. Lars Ljungqvist, 2002. "How Do Lay--off Costs Affect Employment?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(482), pages 829-853, October.
    9. Persson, Torsten & Tabellini, Guido, 1995. "Double-edged incentives: Institutions and policy coordination," Handbook of International Economics,in: G. M. Grossman & K. Rogoff (ed.), Handbook of International Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 38, pages 1973-2030 Elsevier.
    10. Heathcote, Jonathan & Perri, Fabrizio, 2002. "Financial autarky and international business cycles," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(3), pages 601-627, April.
    11. Eric Bartelsman & Stefano Scarpetta & Fabiano Schivardi, 2003. "Comparative Analysis of Firm Demographics and Survival: Micro-Level Evidence for the OECD Countries," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 348, OECD Publishing.
    12. Keith Head & John Ries, 2001. "Increasing Returns versus National Product Differentiation as an Explanation for the Pattern of U.S.-Canada Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(4), pages 858-876, September.
    13. Steven J. Davis & John C. Haltiwanger & Scott Schuh, 1998. "Job Creation and Destruction," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262540932, May.
    14. Veracierto, Marcelo, 2001. "Employment Flows, Capital Mobility, and Policy Analysis," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 42(3), pages 571-595, August.
    15. Harrigan, James, 1997. "Technology, Factor Supplies, and International Specialization: Estimating the Neoclassical Model," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(4), pages 475-494, September.
    16. Backus, David K. & Smith, Gregor W., 1993. "Consumption and real exchange rates in dynamic economies with non-traded goods," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(3-4), pages 297-316, November.
    17. Sibert, Anne & Sutherland, Alan, 2000. "Monetary union and labor market reform," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 421-435, August.
    18. Davis, Donald R., 1998. "Technology, unemployment, and relative wages in a global economy," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 42(9), pages 1613-1633, November.
    19. Alain Delacroix, 2003. "Transitions into Unemployment and the Nature of Firing Costs," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 6(3), pages 651-671, July.
    20. Kyle Bagwell & Robert W. Staiger, 2001. "Domestic Policies, National Sovereignty, and International Economic Institutions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(2), pages 519-562.
    21. Edward P. Lazear, 1990. "Job Security Provisions and Employment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 105(3), pages 699-726.
    22. Samuel Bentolila & Giuseppe Bertola, 1990. "Firing Costs and Labour Demand: How Bad is Eurosclerosis?," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 57(3), pages 381-402.
    23. Rogerson, Richard, 1988. "Indivisible labor, lotteries and equilibrium," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 3-16, January.
    24. Stephen Nickell, 1997. "Unemployment and Labor Market Rigidities: Europe versus North America," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(3), pages 55-74, Summer.
    25. Hélène Erkel-Rousse & Daniel Mirza, 2002. "Import price elasticities: reconsidering the evidence," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 35(2), pages 282-306, May.
    26. Clinton Shiells & Robert Stern & Alan Deardorff, 1989. "Estimates of the elasticities of substitution between imports and home goods for the United States: Reply," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 125(2), pages 371-374, June.
    27. Eric Bartelsman & Stefano Scarpetta & Fabiano Schivardi, 2005. "Comparative analysis of firm demographics and survival: evidence from micro-level sources in OECD countries," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 14(3), pages 365-391, June.
    28. Daron Acemoglu & Jaume Ventura, 2002. "The World Income Distribution," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(2), pages 659-694.
    29. Cole, Harold L. & Obstfeld, Maurice, 1991. "Commodity trade and international risk sharing : How much do financial markets matter?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 3-24, August.
    30. Harrigan, James, 1999. "Estimation of cross-country differences in industry production functions," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(2), pages 267-293, April.
    31. Saint-Paul, Gilles, 2002. "Employment protection, international specialization, and innovation," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 375-395, February.
    32. Alvarez, Fernando & Veracierto, Marcelo, 2001. "Severance payments in an economy with frictions," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(3), pages 477-498, June.
    33. Alessandria, George & Delacroix, Alain, 2008. "Trade and the (dis)incentive to reform labor markets: The case of reform in the European Union," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 75(1), pages 151-166, May.
    34. Andrea Bassanini & Romain Duval, 2006. "Employment Patterns in OECD Countries: Reassessing the Role of Policies and Institutions," OECD Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers 35, OECD Publishing.
    35. Trefler, Daniel, 1995. "The Case of the Missing Trade and Other Mysteries," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(5), pages 1029-1046, December.
    36. Calmfors, Lars, 2001. "Unemployment, Labor Market Reform, and Monetary Union," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 19(2), pages 265-289, April.
    37. Corden, W.M., 1984. "The normative theory of international trade," Handbook of International Economics,in: R. W. Jones & P. B. Kenen (ed.), Handbook of International Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 2, pages 63-130 Elsevier.
    38. Pietro Garibaldi & Giovanni L. Violante, 2005. "The Employment Effects of Severance Payments with Wage Rigidities," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 115(506), pages 799-832, October.
    39. Backus, David K & Kehoe, Patrick J & Kydland, Finn E, 1992. "International Real Business Cycles," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(4), pages 745-775, August.
    40. Mendoza, Enrique G. & Tesar, Linda L., 2005. "Why hasn't tax competition triggered a race to the bottom? Some quantitative lessons from the EU," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(1), pages 163-204, January.
    41. Marc J. Melitz, 2003. "The Impact of Trade on Intra-Industry Reallocations and Aggregate Industry Productivity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(6), pages 1695-1725, November.
    42. Kei-Mu Yi, 2003. "Can Vertical Specialization Explain the Growth of World Trade?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 111(1), pages 52-102, February.
    43. Albuquerque, Rui & Rebelo, Sergio, 2000. "On the dynamics of trade reform," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(1), pages 21-47, June.
    44. Davis, Donald R, 1998. "Does European Unemployment Prop Up American Wages? National Labor Markets and Global Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(3), pages 478-494, June.
    45. Hopenhayn, Hugo & Rogerson, Richard, 1993. "Job Turnover and Policy Evaluation: A General Equilibrium Analysis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(5), pages 915-938, October.
    46. Richard A. Brecher, 1974. "Minimum Wage Rates and the Pure Theory of International Trade," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 88(1), pages 98-116.
    47. Clinton R. Shiells & Kenneth A. Reinert, 1993. "Armington Models and Terms-of-Trade Effects: Some Econometric Evidence for North America," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 26(2), pages 299-316, May.
    48. Roberto M. Samaniego, 2006. "Employment Protection and High-Tech Aversion," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 9(2), pages 224-241, April.
    49. Jagdish Bhagwati, 1958. "Immiserizing Growth: A Geometrical Note," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 25(3), pages 201-205.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

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


    Cited by:

    1. Matteo Cacciatore & Giuseppe Fiori, 2016. "The Macroeconomic Effects of Goods and Labor Marlet Deregulation," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 20, pages 1-24, April.
    2. Alain Delacroix & Etienne Wasmer, 2009. "Layoff Costs and Efficiency with Asymmetric Information," Working Papers hal-00972915, HAL.
    3. Cacciatore, Matteo & Fiori, Giuseppe & Ghironi, Fabio, 2016. "Market deregulation and optimal monetary policy in a monetary union," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 99(C), pages 120-137.
    4. Busl, Claudia & Seymen, Atılım, 2013. "The German labour market reforms in a European context: A DSGE analysis," ZEW Discussion Papers 13-097, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    5. Alessandria, George & Delacroix, Alain, 2008. "Trade and the (dis)incentive to reform labor markets: The case of reform in the European Union," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 75(1), pages 151-166, May.
    6. Alain Delacroix & Etienne Wasmer, 2007. "Job and Workers Flows in Europe and the US: Specific Skills or Employment Protection?," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/9938, Sciences Po.
    7. Wolf-Heimo Grieben & Fuat Sener, 2009. "Labor Unions, Globalization, and Mercantilism," CESifo Working Paper Series 2889, CESifo Group Munich.
    8. Elhanan Helpman & Oleg Itskhoki, 2010. "Labour Market Rigidities, Trade and Unemployment," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 77(3), pages 1100-1137.
    9. Dao, Mai Chi, 2013. "Foreign labor costs and domestic employment: What are the spillovers?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(1), pages 154-171.
    10. Rahul Anand & Purva Khera, 2016. "Macroeconomic Impact of Product and Labor Market Reforms on Informality and Unemployment in India," IMF Working Papers 16/47, International Monetary Fund.
    11. International Monetary Fund, 2006. "Belgium; Selected Issues," IMF Staff Country Reports 06/76, International Monetary Fund.
    12. repec:eee:streco:v:44:y:2018:i:c:p:88-99 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Claudia Busl & Atilim Seymen, 2013. "(Spillover) Effects of Labour Market Reforms in Germany and France," WWWforEurope Working Papers series 8, WWWforEurope.
    14. Povilas Lastauskas & Julius Stakenas, 2016. "Labour Market Institutions in Open Economy," Bank of Lithuania Working Paper Series 33, Bank of Lithuania.

    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
    • F16 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade and Labor Market Interactions
    • F42 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - International Policy Coordination and Transmission

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    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:eee:inecon:v:75:y:2008:i:1:p:151-166. 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: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505552 .

    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.