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Labor Market Rigidity and Structural Shocks: An Open-Economy Approach for International Comparisons

  • Elías Albagli
  • Pablo García
  • Jorge Restrepo

We construct performance-based measures of labor market rigidity considering an open economy framework. We derive and estimate an indicator that depends exclusively on the theoretical measure of unions' bargaining power, with which we rank a sample of 18 heterogeneous countries. The indicator is obtained from unemployment persistence to structural shocks identified using a SVAR with longrun restrictions. We find that Korea, Hong Kong, Chile and the US are relatively flexible, while Germany, Sweden, Spain and Colombia are among the most rigid labor markets. Our index shows high correlation with labor market performance and institutional regulation variables, mainly associated to union representation.

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Paper provided by Central Bank of Chile in its series Working Papers Central Bank of Chile with number 263.

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Date of creation: May 2004
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Handle: RePEc:chb:bcchwp:263
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  1. Olivier Jean Blanchard, 1991. "Wage Bargaining and Unemployment Persistence," NBER Working Papers 3664, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Olivier Blanchard & Lawrence F. Katz, 1996. "What We Know and Do Not Know About the Natural Rate of Unemployment," NBER Working Papers 5822, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Layard, Richard & Nickell, Stephen & Jackman, Richard, 2005. "Unemployment: Macroeconomic Performance and the Labour Market," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199279173, March.
  4. Benkwitz, Alexander & Lütkepohl, Helmut & Wolters, Jürgen, 1999. "Comparison of Bootstrap Confidence Intervals for Impulse Responses of German Monetary Systems," CEPR Discussion Papers 2208, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Dolado, Juan J. & Jimeno, Juan F., 1997. "The causes of Spanish unemployment: A structural VAR approach," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 41(7), pages 1281-1307, July.
  6. Jimeno, Juan F & Viñals, José, 1996. "Monetary Union and European Unemployment," CEPR Discussion Papers 1485, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Earle, John S & Pencavel, John, 1990. "Hours of Work and Trade Unionism," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 8(1), pages S150-74, January.
  8. Forteza, Alvaro & Rama, Martin, 2001. "Labor market"rigidity"and the success of economic reforms across more than one hundred countries," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2521, The World Bank.
  9. Balmaseda, Manuel & Dolado, Juan J & Lopez-Salido, J David, 2000. "The Dynamic Effects of Shocks to Labour Markets: Evidence from OECD Countries," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 52(1), pages 3-23, January.
  10. Anderson, Gary & Moore, George, 1985. "A linear algebraic procedure for solving linear perfect foresight models," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 247-252.
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