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Employment Protection: The Case of Limited Enforceability


  • Florian Baumann


This paper shows that the effects of employment protection critically depend on its enforcement. For this purpose, we capture evasion of employment protection via market exit in a setting of monopolistic competition. We find that the number of firms entering the market depends on firing costs only in the case of imperfect enforcement of employment protection. Furthermore, the possibility to circumvent firing restrictions by exiting the market mitigates the adverse efficiency effects of employment protection and can reverse the sign of the change in employment associated with an increase in firing costs.

Suggested Citation

  • Florian Baumann, 2008. "Employment Protection: The Case of Limited Enforceability," CESifo Working Paper Series 2346, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_2346

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Boeri, Tito, 1999. "Enforcement of employment security regulations, on-the-job search and unemployment duration," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 65-89, January.
    2. Monique Ebell & Christian Haefke, 2002. "Product Market Deregulation and Labor Market Outcomes," Working Papers 02.08, Swiss National Bank, Study Center Gerzensee.
    3. Bertola, Giuseppe, 1994. "Flexibility, investment, and growth," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(2), pages 215-238, October.
    4. Olivier Blanchard & Francesco Giavazzi, 2003. "Macroeconomic Effects of Regulation and Deregulation in Goods and Labor Markets," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(3), pages 879-907.
    5. Pedro Portugal & Olivier Blanchard, 2001. "What Hides Behind an Unemployment Rate: Comparing Portuguese and U.S. Labor Markets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(1), pages 187-207, March.
    6. Richard Martin & Steeve Mongrain & Sean Parkinson, 2004. "Severance Payments and Unemployment Insurance: A Commitment Issue," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 6(4), pages 593-606, October.
    7. Allingham, Michael G. & Sandmo, Agnar, 1972. "Income tax evasion: a theoretical analysis," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 1(3-4), pages 323-338, November.
    8. Samaniego, Roberto M., 2006. "Do Firing Costs Affect The Incidence Of Firm Bankruptcy?," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 10(04), pages 467-501, September.
    9. Dixit, Avinash K & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1977. "Monopolistic Competition and Optimum Product Diversity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(3), pages 297-308, June.
    10. E. Galdon-Sanchez, Jose & Guell, Maia, 2003. "Dismissal conflicts and unemployment," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 47(2), pages 323-335, April.
    11. Burda, Michael C., 1991. "Monopolistic competition, costs of adjustment, and the behavior of European manufacturing employment," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 61-79, January.
    12. Olivier Blanchard & Jean Tirole, 2004. "The Optimal Design of Unemployment Insurance and Employment Protection. A First Pass," NBER Working Papers 10443, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. Michael Neugart & Donald Storrie, 2006. "The emergence of temporary work agencies," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(1), pages 137-156, January.
    14. 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 214-244, June.
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    More about this item


    employment protection; evasion; market entry and exit;

    JEL classification:

    • J63 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Turnover; Vacancies; Layoffs
    • J65 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment Insurance; Severance Pay; Plant Closings
    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets


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