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Two-Tier Labor Markets in the Great Recession: France vs. Spain

  • Samuel Bentolila
  • Pierre Cahuc
  • Juan Jose Dolado
  • Thomas Le Barbanchon

This paper analyzes the strikingly different response of unemployment to the Great Recession in France and Spain. Their labor market institutions are similar and their unemployment rates just before the crisis were both around 8%. Yet, in France, unemployment rate has increased by 2 percentage points, whereas in Spain it has shot up to 19% by the end of 2009. We assess what part of this differential is due to the larger gap between the dismissal costs of permanent and temporary contracts and the less restrictive rules regarding the use of the latter contracts in Spain. Using a calibrated search and matching model, we estimate that about 45% of the surge in Spanish unemployment could have been avoided had Spain adopted French employment protection legislation before the crisis started.

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File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/portal/page/portal/DocBase_Content/WP/WP-CESifo_Working_Papers/wp-cesifo-2010/wp-cesifo-2010-11/cesifo1_wp3269.pdf
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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 3269.

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Date of creation: 2010
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_3269
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  1. 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.
  2. Samuel Bentolila, . "Internal migration in Spain," Working Papers 2001-07, FEDEA.
  3. Barbara Petrongolo & Christopher Pissarides, 2000. "Looking into the black box: a survey of the matching function," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 2122, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  4. Samuel Bentolila & Juan J. Dolado & Juan F. Jimeno, 2008. "Does immigration affect the Phillips curve? Some evidence for Spain," Banco de Espa�a Working Papers 0814, Banco de Espa�a.
  5. Mortensen, Dale T & Pissarides, Christopher A, 1994. "Job Creation and Job Destruction in the Theory of Unemployment," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 61(3), pages 397-415, July.
  6. Hector Sala & Jose I. Silva & Manuel E. Toledo, 2007. "Flexibility at the margin and labor market volatility in OECD countries," Economics Working Papers we075832, Universidad Carlos III, Departamento de Economía.
  7. Rupert, Peter & Wasmer, Etienne, 2009. "Housing and the Labor Market: Time to Move and Aggregate Unemployment," University of California at Santa Barbara, Economics Working Paper Series qt1bv529kn, Department of Economics, UC Santa Barbara.
  8. L'Haridon, Olivier & Malherbet, Franck, 2009. "Employment protection reform in search economies," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 53(3), pages 255-273, April.
  9. Pierre Cahuc & Stéphane Carcillo, 2006. "The Shortcomings of a Partial Release of Employment Protection Laws; The Case of the 2005 French Reform," IMF Working Papers 06/301, International Monetary Fund.
  10. Becker, Sascha O. & Bentolila, Samuel & Fernandes, Ana & Ichino, Andrea, 2005. "Youth Emancipation and Perceived Job Insecurity of Parents and Children," IZA Discussion Papers 1836, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  11. Ichino, Andrea & Riphahn, Regina, 2003. "The Effect of Employment Protection on Worker Effort: A Comparison of Absenteeism During and After Probation," CEPR Discussion Papers 3847, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  12. P Garibaldi, 1995. "Job Flow Dynamics and Firing Restrictions," CEP Discussion Papers dp0256, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  13. Francis Kramarz & Thomas Philippon, 2000. "The Impact of Differenctial Payroll Tax Subsidies on Minimum Wage Employment," Working Papers 2000-10, Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistique.
  14. Samuel Bentolila & Andrea Ichino, 2008. "Unemployment and consumption near and far away from the Mediterranean," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 21(2), pages 255-280, April.
  15. Christopher A. Pissarides, 2000. "Equilibrium Unemployment Theory, 2nd Edition," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262161877, June.
  16. F. Bouvet, 2012. "The Beveridge curve in Europe: new evidence using national and regional data," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 44(27), pages 3585-3604, September.
  17. Bentolila, Samuel & Saint-Paul, Gilles, 1991. "The Macroeconomic Impact of Flexible Labour Contracts: An Application to Spain," CEPR Discussion Papers 596, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  18. Samuel Bentolila & Juan F. Jimeno, 2003. "Spanish Unemployment: The End of the Wild Ride?," CESifo Working Paper Series 940, CESifo Group Munich.
  19. 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).
  20. Saint-Paul, Gilles, 2000. "The Political Economy of Labour Market Institutions," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198293323, March.
  21. 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.
  22. Olivier Blanchard & Augustin Landier, 2001. "The Perverse Effects of Partial Labor Market Reform: Fixed Duration Contracts in France," NBER Working Papers 8219, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  23. Martin Werding (ed.), 2006. "Structural Unemployment in Western Europe: Reasons and Remedies," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262232464, June.
  24. Samuel Bentolila & Juan Jose Dolado & Juan F. Jimeno, 2008. "Two-tier Employment Protection Reforms: The Spanish Experience," CESifo DICE Report, Ifo Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 6(4), pages 49-56, December.
  25. James Costain & Juan F. Jimeno & Carlos Thomas, 2010. "Employment fluctuations in a dual labor market," Banco de Espa�a Working Papers 1013, Banco de Espa�a.
  26. Miguel-Angel Lopez-Garcia, 2004. "Housing, prices and tax policy in Spain," Spanish Economic Review, Springer, vol. 6(1), pages 29-52, April.
  27. Yolanda Rebollo Sanz & J. Ignacio García-Pérez, 2009. "Do wage subsidies affect the subsequent employment stability of permanent workers?: the case of Spain," Working Papers 09.18, Universidad Pablo de Olavide, Department of Economics.
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