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Policy Complementarities: The Case for Fundamental Labour Market Reform

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  • Coe, David T
  • Snower, Dennis J.

Abstract

The paper analyses complementarities among a variety of labour market policies. It shows: (a) that a wide range of labour market institutions (e.g. unemployment benefits, job security legislation and payroll taxes) have complementary effects on unemployment; and thus (b) that policies aimed at reforming these institutions are also complementary. These policy complementarities imply that partial labour market reform (directed at one institution, while leaving the other institutions in place) is unlikely to achieve significant reductions in unemployment. Rather, labour market reform becomes particularly effective only once a broad range of institutional rigidities are dismantled simultaneously and the distributional objectives of the previous policies are pursued through more efficient means.

Suggested Citation

  • Coe, David T & Snower, Dennis J., 1997. "Policy Complementarities: The Case for Fundamental Labour Market Reform," CEPR Discussion Papers 1585, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:1585
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    Keywords

    Job Search; Job Security Legislation; Labour Market Institutions; Labour market policies; Labour Mobility; Minimum Wages; Payroll Taxes; Policy Complementarities; Skill Acquisition; Unemployment; Unemployment Benefits; Wage Bargaining; Welfare State Entitlements;

    JEL classification:

    • E61 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Policy Objectives; Policy Designs and Consistency; Policy Coordination
    • H25 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Business Taxes and Subsidies
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
    • J23 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Demand
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • J32 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Nonwage Labor Costs and Benefits; Retirement Plans; Private Pensions
    • J38 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Public Policy
    • J41 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Labor Contracts
    • J63 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Turnover; Vacancies; Layoffs
    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search
    • J65 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment Insurance; Severance Pay; Plant Closings

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