Do capital market and trade liberalization trigger labor market deregulation?
Over the past decades, product market deregulation has typically preceded labor market reforms in OECD countries. This paper incorporates labor market rigidities in a model of footloose capital in order to study how globalization might affect the trade-offs generated by labor market regulation and put pressure on labor market institutions. In this two-sector model, globalization ultimately reduces labor market rigidities through either one of two channels: capital mobility triggers a re-allocation of resources, which trade integration amplifies, away from the high-rent / highly-unionized sector; the threat of costly relocations encourages labor market deregulation. The latter channel is more efficient because it avoids sub-optimal sectoral specialization.
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