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Employment, Macroeconomic Fluctuations and Job Security


  • Díaz-Vázquez, María del Pilar
  • Snower, Dennis J.


The paper explores the influence of job security provisions on employment and unemployment. We show that this influence depends on the persistence of the macroeconomic fluctuations to which the labour market is exposed, and on employees’ bargaining power in wage negotiations. Specifically, costs of firing and hiring reduce employment and stimulate unemployment when the macroeconomic fluctuations are sufficiently prolonged and employees have sufficient bargaining power; but firing and hiring costs can have the opposite effect if the fluctuations are transient and employees are weak. In this way, the paper offers an explanation for Europe’s favourable unemployment performance vis-à-vis the United States in the 1950s and 1960s (when macroeconomic fluctuations were transient and union strength was moderate), and Europe’s relatively unfavourable unemployment performance since the mid-1970s (when fluctuations were prolonged and unions were stronger).

Suggested Citation

  • Díaz-Vázquez, María del Pilar & Snower, Dennis J., 1996. "Employment, Macroeconomic Fluctuations and Job Security," CEPR Discussion Papers 1430, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:1430

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Stockman, Alan C., 1988. "Sectoral and national aggregate disturbances to industrial output in seven European countries," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(2-3), pages 387-409.
    2. Mortensen, Dale & Pissarides, Christopher, 2011. "Job Creation and Job Destruction in the Theory of Unemployment," Economic Policy, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration, vol. 1, pages 1-19.
    3. Blanchard, Olivier & Jimeno, Juan F, 1995. "Structural Unemployment: Spain versus Portugal," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(2), pages 212-218, May.
    4. Costello, Donna M, 1993. "A Cross-Country, Cross-Industry Comparison of Productivity Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(2), pages 207-222, April.
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    Cited by:

    1. Chen, Yu-Fu & Snower, Dennis J. & Gylfi, Zoega, 1999. "Firing Costs: Eurosclerosis or Eurosuccesses?," HWWA Discussion Papers 78, Hamburg Institute of International Economics (HWWA).
    2. Yu-Fu Chen & Dennis Snower & Gylfi Zoega, 2003. "Labour-market Institutions and Macroeconomic Shocks," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 17(2), pages 247-270, June.
    3. Diaz-Vazquez, Pilar & Snower, Dennis J., 2003. "On-the-Job Training, Firing Costs and Employment," IZA Discussion Papers 910, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    4. repec:dun:dpaper:94 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Amable, Bruno & Demmou, Lilas & Gatti, Donatella, 2007. "Employment Performance and Institutions: New Answers to an Old Question," IZA Discussion Papers 2731, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    6. Amable, Bruno & Gatti, Donatella, 2001. "The Impact of Product Market Competition on Employment and Wages," IZA Discussion Papers 276, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

    More about this item


    Employment; Firing and Hiring Costs; Job Security; Macroeconomic Fluctuations; Unemployment; Wage Determination;

    JEL classification:

    • D8 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty
    • E3 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles
    • J2 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor
    • J3 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs
    • J6 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers


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