Réformes structurelles sur le marché du travail : quels enseignements peut-on tirer des études existantes ?
In general, empirical studies having evaluated with firm individual data the effects of structural labour market reforms in European countries do not reach unambiguous conclusions. In particular, they find that reforms increasing incentives to lower the number of temporary labour contracts do not induce firms to change their long-term labour demand level. Thus, such reforms are not sufficient by themselves to reduce the unemployment rate and to stimulate production and productivity. Fiscal incentives offering income tax credits to households in which a person who was previously not employed find a job, tend to increase labour supply. However, their effectiveness is often limited by the disincentive effects of other transfer policies. In general, structural labour markets reforms cannot succeed when their potential effects are neutralized by inappropriate wage increases. It is thus important to examine the institutional context which determines the wage bargaining process. Several contributions show that, on one side, a higher coordination in the bargaining process could increase labour market flexibility and reduce labour cost, while, on the other side, an excessive decentralisation of the bargaining process could increase the variance of labour contracts. Thus determining the bargaining level which maximizes the efficiency of monetary policy is a crucial issue for any central bank.
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