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The Employment Effects of Labor and Product Markets Deregulation and their Implications for Structural Reform


  • Helge Berger
  • Stephan Danninger


This study explores the effects of labor and product market deregulation on employment growth. Our empirical results, based on an OECD country panel from 1990-2004, suggest that lower levels of product and labor market regulation foster employment growth, including through sizable interaction effects. Based on these findings, the paper develops a theoretical framework for evaluating deregulation strategies in the presence of reform costs. Optimal deregulation takes various forms depending on the deregulation costs and the strength of reform interactions. Compared to the first best, decentralized decision-making based on a partial market-by-market perspective can lead to excessive or insufficient regulation, depending on the design of the decision process. Securing the first best requires not only coordinating deregulation activities across sectors but also overcoming the partial perspective of decision makers.

Suggested Citation

  • Helge Berger & Stephan Danninger, 2006. "The Employment Effects of Labor and Product Markets Deregulation and their Implications for Structural Reform," CESifo Working Paper Series 1709, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_1709

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Angana Banerji & Bergljot B Barkbu & James A John & Tidiane Kinda & Sergejs Saksonovs & Hanni Schoelermann & Tao Wu, 2015. "Building a Better Union; Incentivizing Structural Reforms in the Euro Area," IMF Working Papers 15/201, International Monetary Fund.
    2. Nadine Leiner-Killinger & Víctor López Pérez & Roger Stiegert & Giovanni Vitale, 2007. "Structural reforms in EMU and the role of monetary policy – a survey of the literature," Occasional Paper Series 66, European Central Bank.
    3. International Monetary Fund, 2009. "Italy; 2008 Article IV Consultation: Staff Report; Staff Supplement; Public Information Notice on the Executive Board Discussion; and Statement by the Executive Director for Italy," IMF Staff Country Reports 09/45, International Monetary Fund.
    4. Koulovatianos, Christos & Schrder, Carsten & Schmidt, Ulrich, 2009. "Nonmarket Household Time and the Cost of Children," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 27, pages 42-51.
    5. Moretti, Laura, 2014. "Inflation targeting and product market deregulation," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 372-386.
    6. Donatella Gatti & Anne-Gael Vaubourg, 2010. "Credit and Unemployment: Do Institutions Matter?," CESifo Forum, Ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 11(1), pages 37-43, April.
    7. Donatella Gatti & Christophe Rault & Anne-Gael Vaubourg, 2012. "Unemployment and finance: how do financial and labour market factors interact?," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 64(3), pages 464-489, July.
    8. Horst Feldmann, 2012. "Product Market Regulation and Labor Market Performance around the World," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 26(3), pages 369-391, September.
    9. Fiori, Giuseppe & Nicoletti, Giuseppe & Scarpetta, Stefano & Schiantarelli, Fabio, 2007. "Employment Outcomes and the Interaction Between Product and Labor Market Deregulation: Are They Substitutes or Complements?," IZA Discussion Papers 2770, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    10. Paul Grauwe, 2009. "The Euro at ten: achievements and challenges," Empirica, Springer;Austrian Institute for Economic Research;Austrian Economic Association, vol. 36(1), pages 5-20, February.
    11. Anderson, Derek & Hunt, Benjamin & Snudden, Stephen, 2014. "Fiscal consolidation in the euro area: How much pain can structural reforms ease?," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 36(5), pages 785-799.
    12. Niklas Potrafke, 2010. "Labor market deregulation and globalization: empirical evidence from OECD countries," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 146(3), pages 545-571, September.
    13. Carsten Hefeker, 2011. "Policy Uncertainty and Economic Reforms in a Monetary Union," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 12(3), pages 274-285, August.
    14. Niklas Potrafke, 2010. "Does government ideology influence deregulation of product markets? Empirical evidence from OECD countries," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 143(1), pages 135-155, April.
    15. Martin Schindler, 2009. "The Italian Labor Market; Recent Trends, Institutions, and Reform Options," IMF Working Papers 09/47, International Monetary Fund.
    16. Koskela, Erkki & Stenbacka, Rune, 2012. "The relationship between product market competition and unemployment with profit sharing," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 291-297.
    17. Fabio Schiantarelli, 2016. "Do product market reforms stimulate employment, investment, and innovation?," IZA World of Labor, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA), pages 266-266, June.
    18. International Monetary Fund, 2012. "Republic of Belarus; Selected Issues," IMF Staff Country Reports 12/114, International Monetary Fund.
    19. Paul De Grauwe, 2006. "On monetary and political union," CESifo Forum, Ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 7(4), pages 3-10, December.
    20. Konrad Szelag, 2008. "A Single Fiscal Policy in the Euro Area: Vision or Utopia?," NBP Working Papers 46, Narodowy Bank Polski, Economic Research Department.

    More about this item


    product market regulation; labor market regulation; employment growth; policy coordination; sequencing;

    JEL classification:

    • L51 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy - - - Economics of Regulation
    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • J50 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining - - - General

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