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The use of permanent and temporary jobs across Spanish regions: Do unit labour cost differentials offer an explanation?

We study the use of permanent and temporary contracts across Spanish regions during the period 1995-2001. First we show that there are significant differences among the regional rates of permanent employment and that these differences tend to persist over time. To understand the underlying factors behind these observed differences we estimate a binary choice model for the individual probability of having a permanent contract, taking advantage of the panel data dimension of the Spanish Labour Force Survey. Our main results are that unit labour cost differentials, and thus labour productivity and total labour cost differentials, partially explain the divergence of regional permanent employment rates. Moreover, compared to the influence of regional fixed effects and other possible explanations such as sector specialisation or the presence of small firms in the region, unit labour costs explain more than two thirds of the observed variance in the permanent employment rate across Spanish regions, once all the relevant heterogeneity is taken into account .

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Paper provided by Centro de Estudios Andaluces in its series Economic Working Papers at Centro de Estudios Andaluces with number E2005/16.

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Length: 30 pages
Date of creation: 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cea:doctra:e2005_16
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  1. Saint-Paul, G., 1993. "On the Political Economy of Labor Market Flexibility," DELTA Working Papers 93-02, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
  2. Dolado, Juan J. & Jansen, Marcel & Jimeno, Juan F., 2005. "Dual Employment Protection Legislation: A Framework for Analysis," IZA Discussion Papers 1564, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Alison L. Booth & Marco Francesconi & Jeff Frank, 2002. "Temporary Jobs: Stepping Stones or Dead Ends?," LABORatorio R. Revelli Working Papers Series 8, LABORatorio R. Revelli, Centre for Employment Studies.
  4. Hernanz, Virginia & Jimeno, Juan F & Kugler, Adriana D., 2003. "Employment Consequences of Restrictive Permanent Contracts: Evidence from Spanish Labour Market Reforms," CEPR Discussion Papers 3724, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Etienne Wasmer, 1997. "Competition for Jobs in a Growing Economy and the Emergence of Dualism," Working Papers 97-15, Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistique.
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  7. Güell, Maia & Petrongolo, Barbara, 2003. "How Binding Are Legal Limits? Transitions from Temporary to Permanent Work in Spain," IZA Discussion Papers 782, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. Mundlak, Yair, 1978. "On the Pooling of Time Series and Cross Section Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(1), pages 69-85, January.
  9. O Blanchard & A Landier, 2002. "The Perverse Effects of Partial Labour Market Reform: fixed--Term Contracts in France," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(480), pages F214-F244, June.
  10. Bentolila, Samuel & Saint-Paul, Gilles, 1992. "The macroeconomic impact of flexible labor contracts, with an application to Spain," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 36(5), pages 1013-1047, June.
  11. Holmlund, Bertil & Storrie, Donald, 2001. "Temporary Work in Turbulent Times: The Swedish Experience," Working Paper Series 2002:1, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
  12. Chamberlain, Gary, 1984. "Panel data," Handbook of Econometrics, in: Z. Griliches† & M. D. Intriligator (ed.), Handbook of Econometrics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 22, pages 1247-1318 Elsevier.
  13. Chamberlain, Gary, 1980. "Analysis of Covariance with Qualitative Data," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(1), pages 225-38, January.
  14. Cahuc, Pierre & Postel-Vinay, Fabien, 2001. "Temporary Jobs, Employment Protection and Labor Market Performance," IZA Discussion Papers 260, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  15. Portugal, Pedro & Varejão, José, 2009. "Why Do Firms Use Fixed-Term Contracts?," IZA Discussion Papers 4380, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  16. Dolado, Juan J. & Garcia-Serrano, Carlos & Jimeno, Juan F, 2001. "Drawing Lessons From the Boom of Temporary Jobs in Spain," CEPR Discussion Papers 2884, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  17. Moulton, Brent R, 1990. "An Illustration of a Pitfall in Estimating the Effects of Aggregate Variables on Micro Unit," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 72(2), pages 334-38, May.
  18. Bentolila, Samuel & Bertola, Giuseppe, 1990. "Firing Costs and Labour Demand: How Bad Is Eurosclerosis?," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 57(3), pages 381-402, July.
  19. Jeffrey M. Wooldridge, 2004. "On the robustness of fixed effects and related estimators in correlated random coefficient panel data models," CeMMAP working papers CWP04/04, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
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