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Between-Firm Redistribution of Profit in Competitive Industries: Why Labor Market Policies May Not Work


  • Galina Vereshchagina


Empirical studies document differences in firms' response to the introduction of various labor market policies. In particular, large and mature firms tend to participate more actively in targeted employment subsidy programs (under which firms receive subsidies for hiring disadvantaged workers). This paper offers an explanation for this phenomenon and argues that it might have important consequences for policy making. Namely, such behavior of firms may indicate that large and mature firms benefit from the introduction of a new subsidy program, while small and young firms incur indirect costs. In this case, the policy implicitly redistributes profit from young to mature firms and may discourage startups if the entry into the industry is competitive. The resulting decrease in the number of operating firms is likely to have a significant impact on the policy's outcomes. These effects become more pronounced as heterogeneity between young and mature firms increases.

Suggested Citation

  • Galina Vereshchagina, 2005. "Between-Firm Redistribution of Profit in Competitive Industries: Why Labor Market Policies May Not Work," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp268, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economics Institute, Prague.
  • Handle: RePEc:cer:papers:wp268

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. J Richardson, 1997. "Can Active Labour Market Policy Work? Some Theoretical Considerations," CEP Discussion Papers dp0331, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    2. Raj Chetty, 2006. "A New Method of Estimating Risk Aversion," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(5), pages 1821-1834, December.
    3. Steven J. Davis & John Haltiwanger, 1992. "Gross Job Creation, Gross Job Destruction, and Employment Reallocation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(3), pages 819-863.
    4. Fernando Alvarez & Marcelo Veracierto, 2000. "Labor-Market Policies in an Equilibrium Search Model," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1999, Volume 14, pages 265-316 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Hopenhayn, Hugo & Rogerson, Richard, 1993. "Job Turnover and Policy Evaluation: A General Equilibrium Analysis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(5), pages 915-938, October.
    6. Carling, Kenneth & Richardson, Katarina, 2001. "The relative efficiency of labor market programs: Swedish experience from the 1990's," Working Paper Series 2001:2, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
    7. Phelps, Edmund S, 1994. "Low-Wage Employment Subsidies versus the Welfare State," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(2), pages 54-58, May.
    8. Hui, Weng T. & Trivedi, P. K., 1986. "Duration dependence, targeted employment subsidies and unemployment benefits," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 105-129, October.
    9. Nicholas Kaldor, 1936. "Wage Subsidies as a Remedy for Unemployment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 44, pages 721-721.
    10. Hopenhayn, Hugo A, 1992. "Entry, Exit, and Firm Dynamics in Long Run Equilibrium," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(5), pages 1127-1150, September.
    11. Shapiro, Carl & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1984. "Equilibrium Unemployment as a Worker Discipline Device," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(3), pages 433-444, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Galina Vereshchagina, 2014. "Serial Entrepreneurship and the Impact of Credit Constraints of Economic Development," 2014 Meeting Papers 1173, Society for Economic Dynamics.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E3 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles
    • J6 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers

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