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Aggregate Earnings and Macroeconomic Shocks: the Role of Labour Market Policies and Institutions


  • Andrea Bassanini


I examine the effect of labour market policies and institutions on the transmission of macroeconomic shocks to the labour market, using both aggregate and industry-level annual data for 23 OECD countries, 23 business-sector industries and up to 29 years. I find that high and progressive labour taxes and generous unemployment benefits amplify labour income fluctuations. By contrast, statutory minimum wages reduce the difference in the sensitivity of wages to aggregate shocks between low-wage and high-wage industries. Dismissal regulations are found to mitigate the impact of shocks on both earnings and employment. Moreover, this mitigation effect is greater in industries where firms have a greater propensity to make staffing changes through dismissals.

Suggested Citation

  • Andrea Bassanini, 2012. "Aggregate Earnings and Macroeconomic Shocks: the Role of Labour Market Policies and Institutions," Review of Economics and Institutions, Università di Perugia, vol. 3(3).
  • Handle: RePEc:pia:review:v:3:y:2012:i:3:n:1

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Aida Caldera Sánchez & Morten Rasmussen & Oliver Röhn, 2016. "Economic Resilience: What Role for Policies?," Journal of International Commerce, Economics and Policy (JICEP), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 7(02), pages 1-44, June.
    2. John T. Addison, 2016. "Collective bargaining systems and macroeconomic and microeconomic flexibility: the quest for appropriate institutional forms in advanced economies," IZA Journal of Labor Policy, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 5(1), pages 1-53, December.
    3. Paula Garda & Volker Ziemann, 2014. "Economic Policies and Microeconomic Stability: A Literature Review and Some Empirics," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 1115, OECD Publishing.
    4. Cosmin ENACHE, 2012. "Unemployment Benefit, Minimum Wage And Average Salary Earnings In Romania," Review of Economic and Business Studies, Alexandru Ioan Cuza University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, issue 10, pages 85-96, December.

    More about this item


    employment fluctuations; business-cycle; EPL; tax wedge; unemployment benefits;

    JEL classification:

    • J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • J60 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - General


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