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Unemployment Impact of Product and Labor Market Regulation: Evidence from European Countries

Author

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  • Piton Céline

    () (National Bank of Belgium, Université libre de Bruxelles (SBS-EM), Boulevard de Berlaimont 14, 1000Brussels, Belgium)

  • Rycx François

    () (Université libre de Bruxelles (SBS-EM, CEB and DULBEA), GLO, humanOrg, IRES and IZA, CP 114/03, Avenue Roosevelt 50, B-1050Brussels, Belgium)

Abstract

This paper provides robust estimates of the impact of both product and labor market regulations on unemployment using data from 24 European countries over the period 1998–2013. Controlling for country fixed effects, endogeneity, and a large set of covariates, results show that product market deregulation overall reduces the unemployment rate. This finding is robust across all specifications and in line with theoretical predictions. However, not all types of reforms have the same effect: deregulation of state controls and in particular involvement in business operations tend to push up the unemployment rate. Labor market deregulation, proxied by the employment protection legislation index, is detrimental to unemployment in the short run, while a positive impact (i.e., a reduction in the unemployment rate) occurs only in the long run. Analysis by sub-indicators shows that reducing protection against collective dismissals helps in reducing the unemployment rate. The unemployment rate equation is also estimated for different categories of workers. Although men and women are equally affected by product and labor market deregulations, workers distinguished by age and educational attainment are affected differently. In terms of employment protection, young workers are almost twice as strongly affected as older workers. Regarding product market deregulation, highly educated individuals are less impacted than low- and middle-educated workers.

Suggested Citation

  • Piton Céline & Rycx François, 2019. "Unemployment Impact of Product and Labor Market Regulation: Evidence from European Countries," IZA Journal of Labor Policy, Sciendo & Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 9(1), pages 1-32, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:vrs:izajlp:v:9:y:2019:i:1:p:32:n:6
    DOI: 10.2478/izajolp-2019-0006
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    File URL: https://doi.org/10.2478/izajolp-2019-0006
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Iva Tomic, 2020. "Employment protection reforms and labour market outcomes in the aftermath of the recession: Evidence from Croatia," Public Sector Economics, Institute of Public Finance, vol. 44(1), pages 3-39.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    unemployment; structural reform; product market; labor market; regulation; employment protection;

    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
    • E60 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - General
    • J48 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Particular Labor Markets; Public Policy
    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search
    • L51 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy - - - Economics of Regulation

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