IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/kap/decono/v168y2020i4d10.1007_s10645-020-09370-1.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Employment Protection Reform in European Labor Markets: The Collective Bargaining Regime Matters

Author

Listed:
  • Francesco Palma

    (Université de Strasbourg, Université de Lorraine)

  • Yann Thommen

    (Université de Strasbourg, Université de Lorraine)

Abstract

Policy advisers repeatedly call on Western European countries to reform their employment protection legislation (EPL) by switching to a layoff tax model of unemployment insurance (UI) funding. This new design, partly based on the existing “experience-rating” (ER) system in the U.S., should induce firms to internalize layoff fiscal costs and hence reduce unemployment. However, its success remains uncertain in economies with a collective wage-setting system, as do those of many Western European countries. Using a matching model with endogenous job destruction, we provide an ex-ante evaluation of this policy reform’s effects on labor market outcomes and aggregate welfare in firm-level and sector-level bargaining economies. Our numerical analyses yield two main results. First, compared to simply increasing firing/dismissal costs, implementing an ER system improves labor market outcomes in both types of economies. Second, the design of the reform has to be adapted to the level of wage bargaining in the economy. Because firms can adjust most of the terms and conditions of employment (including wages) in decentralized negotiations, adding ER to existing EPL yields the largest reduction in unemployment under firm-level bargaining, while with sector-level bargaining, ER is better implemented with a relaxation of existing EPL. However, if the aim is to increase aggregate welfare, it is better under both bargaining regimes to relax existing EPL when implementing ER.

Suggested Citation

  • Francesco Palma & Yann Thommen, 2020. "Employment Protection Reform in European Labor Markets: The Collective Bargaining Regime Matters," De Economist, Springer, vol. 168(4), pages 541-575, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:decono:v:168:y:2020:i:4:d:10.1007_s10645-020-09370-1
    DOI: 10.1007/s10645-020-09370-1
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://link.springer.com/10.1007/s10645-020-09370-1
    File Function: Abstract
    Download Restriction: Access to the full text of the articles in this series is restricted.

    File URL: https://libkey.io/10.1007/s10645-020-09370-1?utm_source=ideas
    LibKey link: if access is restricted and if your library uses this service, LibKey will redirect you to where you can use your library subscription to access this item
    ---><---

    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. Christopher A. Pissarides, 2000. "Equilibrium Unemployment Theory, 2nd Edition," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262161877.
    2. Olivier Charlot & Franck Malherbet, 2010. "Réforme de la protection de l'emploi et inégalités face au chômage dans un modèle d'appariement," Recherches économiques de Louvain, De Boeck Université, vol. 76(1), pages 57-112.
    3. 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.
    4. Bertola, Giuseppe & Rogerson, Richard, 1997. "Institutions and labor reallocation," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 41(6), pages 1147-1171, June.
    5. Eric J. Bartelsman & Pieter A. Gautier & Joris Wind, 2016. "Employment Protection, Technology Choice, And Worker Allocation," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 57, pages 787-826, August.
    6. Mortensen, Dale & Pissarides, Christopher, 2011. "Job Creation and Job Destruction in the Theory of Unemployment," Economic Policy, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration, vol. 1, pages 1-19.
    7. 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.
    8. Andrew Clark & Fabien Postel-Vinay, 2009. "Job security and job protection," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 61(2), pages 207-239, April.
    9. L'Haridon, Olivier & Malherbet, Franck, 2009. "Employment protection reform in search economies," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 53(3), pages 255-273, April.
    10. Christian Lyhne Ibsen & Maarten Keune, 2018. "Organised Decentralisation of Collective Bargaining: Case studies of Germany, Netherlands and Denmark," OECD Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers 217, OECD Publishing.
    11. Christopher A. Pissarides & Barbara Petrongolo, 2001. "Looking into the Black Box: A Survey of the Matching Function," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 39(2), pages 390-431, June.
    12. Julia Fath & Clemens Fuest, 2005. "Experience Rating of Unemployment Insurance in the US: A Model for Europe?," ifo DICE Report, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 3(02), pages 45-50, July.
    13. Olivier J. Blanchard & Jean Tirole, 2008. "The Joint Design of Unemployment Insurance and Employment Protection: A First Pass," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 6(1), pages 45-77, March.
    14. Mario Izquierdo & Juan Francisco Jimeno & Theodora Kosma & Ana Lamo & Stephen Millard & Tairi Rõõm & Eliana Viviano, 2017. "Labour market adjustment in Europe during the crisis: microeconomic evidence from the Wage Dynamics Network survey," Occasional Papers 1704, Banco de España.
    15. repec:iza:izawol:journl:y:2015:p:136 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. Isabelle Terraz & Magali Jaoul-Grammare, 2012. "Diversité et évolution de la syndicalisation en Europe," Bulletin de l'Observatoire des politiques économiques en Europe, Observatoire des Politiques Économiques en Europe (OPEE), vol. 26(1), pages 35-39, June.
    17. Bassanini, Andrea & Garnero, Andrea, 2013. "Dismissal protection and worker flows in OECD countries: Evidence from cross-country/cross-industry data," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(C), pages 25-41.
    18. Fabien Postel-Vinay & Anne Saint-Martin, 2004. "Comment les salariés perçoivent-ils la protection de l'emploi ?," Économie et Statistique, Programme National Persée, vol. 372(1), pages 41-59.
    19. Feldstein, Martin S, 1976. "Temporary Layoffs in the Theory of Unemployment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 84(5), pages 937-957, October.
    20. Cai, Xiaoming & Gautier, Pieter A. & Teulings, Coen N. & Watanabe, Makoto, 2014. "Collective versus decentralized wage bargaining and the efficient allocation of resources," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(C), pages 34-42.
    21. Ernesto Villanueva, 2015. "Employment and wage effects of extending collective bargaining agreements," IZA World of Labor, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA), pages 136-136, March.
    22. Pedro S. Martins, 2021. "30,000 Minimum Wages: The Economic Effects of Collective Bargaining Extensions," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 59(2), pages 335-369, June.
    23. Ch. Pissarides., 2011. "The Unemployment Volatility Puzzle: Is Wage Stickiness the Answer?," VOPROSY ECONOMIKI, N.P. Redaktsiya zhurnala "Voprosy Economiki", vol. 1.
    24. Cahuc, Pierre & Malherbet, Franck, 2004. "Unemployment compensation finance and labor market rigidity," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(3-4), pages 481-501, March.
    25. Edward P. Lazear, 1990. "Job Security Provisions and Employment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 105(3), pages 699-726.
    26. Julia Fath & Clemens Fuest, 2005. "Experience Rating of Unemployment Insurance in the US: A Model for Europe?," ifo DICE Report, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 3(2), pages 45-50, 07.
    27. Florian Baumann & Nikolai Stähler, 2008. "Union Power as a Reason for Europe Not to Introduce Experience Rating?," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 164(3), pages 568-585, September.
    28. Hairault, Jean-Olivier & Le Barbanchon, Thomas & Sopraseuth, Thepthida, 2015. "The cyclicality of the separation and job finding rates in France," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 76(C), pages 60-84.
    29. Cahuc, Pierre, 2014. "Search, flows, job creations and destructions," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(C), pages 22-29.
    30. Toke Aidt & Zafiris Tzannatos, 2002. "Unions and Collective Bargaining : Economic Effects in a Global Environment," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 15241.
    31. Patricia M. Anderson & Bruce D. Meyer, 1994. "The Effects of Unemployment Insurance Taxes and Benefits on Layoffs Using Firm and Individual Data," NBER Working Papers 4960, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    32. John Martin & Stefano Scarpetta, 2012. "Setting It Right: Employment Protection, Labour Reallocation and Productivity," De Economist, Springer, vol. 160(2), pages 89-116, June.
    33. repec:ces:ifodic:v:3:y:2005:i:2:p:14567656 is not listed on IDEAS
    34. Kramarz, Francis & Michaud, Marie-Laure, 2010. "The shape of hiring and separation costs in France," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 27-37, January.
    35. Murtin, Fabrice & de Serres, Alain & Hijzen, Alexander, 2014. "Unemployment and the coverage extension of collective wage agreements," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 71(C), pages 52-66.
    36. 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.
    37. Jelle Visser, 2013. "Wage Bargaining Institutions – from crisis to crisis," European Economy - Economic Papers 2008 - 2015 488, Directorate General Economic and Financial Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.
    38. Jimeno, Juan F. & Thomas, Carlos, 2013. "Collective bargaining, firm heterogeneity and unemployment," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 63-79.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Employment protection reform in European labor markets: the collective bargaining regime matters.
      by Christian Zimmermann in NEP-DGE blog on 2019-05-30 22:26:26

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Pierre Cahuc & Olivier Charlot & Franck Malherbet, 2016. "Explaining The Spread Of Temporary Jobs And Its Impact On Labor Turnover," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 57(2), pages 533-572, May.
    2. L'Haridon, Olivier & Malherbet, Franck, 2009. "Employment protection reform in search economies," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 53(3), pages 255-273, April.
    3. Michau, Jean-Baptiste, 2015. "Optimal labor market policy with search frictions and risk-averse workers," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(C), pages 93-107.
    4. Le Barbanchon, Thomas. & Malherbet, Franck., 2013. "An anatomy of the French labour market : country case studies on labour market segmentation," ILO Working Papers 994814973402676, International Labour Organization.
    5. repec:ilo:ilowps:481497 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Berson, Clémence & Ferrari, Nicolas, 2015. "Financial incentives and labour market duality," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 77-92.
    7. Albertini, Julien & Fairise, Xavier, 2013. "Search frictions, real wage rigidities and the optimal design of unemployment insurance," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 37(9), pages 1796-1813.
    8. Charlot, Olivier & Malherbet, Franck, 2013. "Education and employment protection," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(C), pages 3-23.
    9. Launov, Andrey & Wälde, Klaus, 2016. "The employment effect of reforming a public employment agency," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 84(C), pages 140-164.
    10. Ahrens, Steffen & Wesselbaum, Dennis, 2009. "On the introduction of firing costs," Kiel Working Papers 1559, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    11. Charlot, Olivier & Malherbet, Franck, 2010. "Education and the Welfare Gains from Employment Protection," IZA Discussion Papers 4799, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    12. Nadav Ben Zeev & Tomer Ifergane, . "Firing Restrictions and Economic Resilience: Protect and Survive?," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics.
    13. Boeri, Tito & Burda, Michael C., 2004. "Preferences for Rigid versus Individualized Wage Setting in Search Economies with Frictions," IZA Discussion Papers 1133, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    14. Olivier l'Haridon, 2005. "Financement des politiques du marché du travail et protection de l'emploi," Économie et Prévision, Programme National Persée, vol. 168(2), pages 43-62.
    15. Juan J. Dolado & Etienne Lalé & Nawid Siassi, 2021. "From dual to unified employment protection: Transition and steady state," Quantitative Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 12(2), pages 547-585, May.
    16. Bartelsman, Eric J & de Wind, Joris & Gautier, Pieter A, 2010. "Employment Protection, Technology Choice, and Worker Allocation," CEPR Discussion Papers 7806, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    17. Siassi, Nawid & Dolado, Juan J. & Lalé, Etienne, 2015. "Moving Towards a Single Labor Contract: Transition vs. Steady State," VfS Annual Conference 2015 (Muenster): Economic Development - Theory and Policy 112858, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    18. Rogerson, Richard & Shimer, Robert, 2011. "Search in Macroeconomic Models of the Labor Market," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 7, pages Pages: 61, Elsevier.
    19. Verónica Alaimo & Mariano Bosch & David S. Kaplan & Carmen Pagés & Laura Ripani, 2015. "Jobs for Growth," IDB Publications (Books), Inter-American Development Bank, number 90977, February.
    20. Cook, David & Xu, Juanyi, 2015. "Eurosclerosis and international business cycles," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(1), pages 54-67.
    21. Amaral, Pedro S. & Tasci, Murat, 2016. "The cyclical behavior of equilibrium unemployment and vacancies across OECD countries," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 84(C), pages 184-201.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Search and matching models; Collective bargaining; Experience rating; Employment protection;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E10 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General Aggregative Models - - - General
    • J48 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Particular Labor Markets; Public Policy
    • J50 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining - - - General
    • J60 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - General

    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:kap:decono:v:168:y:2020:i:4:d:10.1007_s10645-020-09370-1. 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: . General contact details of provider: http://www.springer.com .

    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 bibliographic 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.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Sonal Shukla or Springer Nature Abstracting and Indexing (email available below). General contact details of provider: http://www.springer.com .

    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.