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Employment and Deadweight Loss Effects of Observed Non-Wage Labor Costs

  • Silvio Rendon


    (Centro de Investigacion Economica (CIE), Instituto Tecnologico Autonomo de Mexico (ITAM))

  • Giovanna Aguilar


    (Universidad Catolica del Peru)

To assess the employment effects of labor costs it is crucial to have reliable estimates of the labor cost elasticity of labor demand. Using a matched firm-worker dataset, we estimate a long run unconditional labor demand function, exploiting information on workers to correct for endogeneity in the determination of wages. We evaluate the employment and deadweight loss effects of observed employers' contributions imposed by labor laws (health insurance, training, and taxes) as well as of observed workers' deductions (social security, and income tax). We find that non-wage labor costs reduce employment by 17% for white-collars and by 53% for blue-collars, with associated deadweight losses of 10% and 35% of total contributions, respectively. Since most firms undercomply with mandated employers' and workers contributions, we find that full compliance would imply employment losses of 4% for white-collars and 12% for blue-collars, with respective associated deadweight losses of 2% and 6%.

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Paper provided by Centro de Investigacion Economica, ITAM in its series Working Papers with number 0704.

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Length: 33 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cie:wpaper:0704
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  1. Carmen Pagés-Serra & Gustavo Márquez, 1998. "Ties That Bind: Employment Protection and Labor Market Outcomes in Latin America," Research Department Publications 4118, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
  2. Bentolila, Samuel & Bertola, Giuseppe, 1990. "Firing Costs and Labour Demand: How Bad Is Eurosclerosis?," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 57(3), pages 381-402, July.
  3. Silvio Rendon, 2006. "Job Creation and Investment in Imperfect Capital and Labor Markets," Computing in Economics and Finance 2006 432, Society for Computational Economics.
  4. Alan J. Auerbach & James R. Hines Jr., 2001. "Taxation and Economic Efficiency," NBER Working Papers 8181, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Clark, Kim B & Freeman, Richard B, 1980. "How Elastic is the Demand for Labor?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 62(4), pages 509-20, November.
  7. Richard B. Freeman, 2000. "Single Peaked Vs. Diversified Capitalism: The Relation Between Economic Institutions and Outcomes," NBER Working Papers 7556, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Jaime Saavedra-Chanduví & Máximo Torero, 2000. "Labor Market Reforms and Their Impact on Formal Labor Demand and Job Market Turnover: The Case of Peru," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 43058, Inter-American Development Bank.
  9. Daniel S. Hamermesh, 1984. "The Demand for Labor in the Long Run," NBER Working Papers 1297, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Carmen Pagés & James J. Heckman, 2000. "The Cost of Job Security Regulation: Evidence from Latin American Labor Markets," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 4119, Inter-American Development Bank.
  11. Hamermesh, Daniel S, 1989. "Labor Demand and the Structure of Adjustment Costs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(4), pages 674-89, September.
  12. Nickell, S.J., 1987. "Dynamic models of labour demand," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & R. Layard (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 9, pages 473-522 Elsevier.
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