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Labour Adjustment and Gradual Reform: Is Commitment Important?

  • Karp, Larry
  • Paul, Thierry

We analyse a model in which a government uses a second-best policy to affect the reallocation of labour, following a change in relative prices. We consider two extreme cases, in which the government has either unlimited or negligible ability to commit to future actions. We explain why the ability to make commitments may be unimportant, and we illustrate this conjecture with numerical examples. For either assumption about commitment ability, the equilibrium policy involves gradual liberalization. The dying sector is protected during the transition to a free market, in order to decrease the amount of unemployment. Our results are sensitive to the assumptions about migration.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 1094.

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Date of creation: Jan 1995
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:1094
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  1. David Begg & Richard Portes, 1993. "Eastern Germany since unification: wage subsidies remain a better way," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 1(4), pages 383-400, December.
  2. Matsuyama, Kiminori, 1990. "Perfect Equilibria in a Trade Liberalization Game," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(3), pages 480-92, June.
  3. Chari, V V & Kehoe, Patrick J, 1993. "Sustainable Plans and Mutual Default," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 60(1), pages 175-95, January.
  4. Chari, V V & Kehoe, Patrick J, 1990. "Sustainable Plans," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(4), pages 783-802, August.
  5. Cassing, James H & Ochs, Jack, 1978. "International Trade, Factor-Market Distortions, and the Optimal Dynamic Subsidy: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 68(5), pages 950-55, December.
  6. Lapan, Harvey E, 1978. "International Trade, Factor-Market Distortions, and the Optimal Dynamic Subsidy: Reply," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 68(5), pages 956-59, December.
  7. Abel, István & Bonin, John, 1992. "The `Big Bang' Versus `Slow but Steady': A Comparison of the Hungarian and the Polish Transformations," CEPR Discussion Papers 626, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. George A. Akerlof & Andrew K. Rose & Janet L. Yellen & Helga Hessenius, 1991. "East Germany in from the Cold: The Economic Aftermath of Currency Union," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 22(1), pages 1-106.
  9. Bofinger, Peter & Cernohorsky, Ivan, 1992. "Some Lessons from Economic Transformation in East Germany," CEPR Discussion Papers 686, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. Lapan, Harvey E, 1976. "International Trade, Factor Market Distortions, and the Optimal Dynamic Subsidy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 66(3), pages 335-46, June.
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