IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Employment Consequences of Restrictive Permanent Contracts: Evidence from Spanish Labour Market Reforms

  • Hernanz, Virginia
  • Jimeno, Juan F
  • Kugler, Adriana D.

Temporary employment contracts allowing unrestricted dismissals were introduced in Spain in 1984 and quickly came to account for most new jobs. In 1997, however, the Spanish government attempted to reduce the incidence of temporary employment by reducing payroll taxes and dismissal costs for permanent contracts. In this Paper, we exploit the fact that recent reforms apply only to certain demographic groups to set up a natural experiment research design to study the effects of contract regulations on employment and worker flows. Using data from the Spanish Labor Force Survey, we find that the reduction of payroll taxes and dismissal costs increased the employment of young men and women on permanent contracts, although the effects for young women are marginally significant. The results suggest a moderately elastic response of permanent employment to non-wage labour costs. We also find positive effects on the transitions from unemployment and temporary employment into permanent employment for young and older workers and from permanent employment to non-employment only for older men, suggesting that the reform had little effect on dismissals.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: CEPR Discussion Papers are free to download for our researchers, subscribers and members. If you fall into one of these categories but have trouble downloading our papers, please contact us at

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 3724.

in new window

Date of creation: Jan 2003
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:3724
Contact details of provider: Postal: Centre for Economic Policy Research, 77 Bastwick Street, London EC1V 3PZ.
Phone: 44 - 20 - 7183 8801
Fax: 44 - 20 - 7183 8820

Order Information: Email:

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Arellano, Manuel & Bentolila, Samuel & Bover, Olympia, 1998. "Unemployment Duration, Benefit Duration and the Business Cycle," CEPR Discussion Papers 1840, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Jennifer Hunt, 1994. "Firing Costs, Employment Fluctuations and Average Employment: An Examination of Germany," NBER Working Papers 4825, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Joshua D. Angrist & Adriana D. Kugler, 2003. "Protective or counter-productive? labour market institutions and the effect of immigration on eu natives," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(488), pages F302-F331, 06.
  4. Adriana D. Kugler & Gilles Saint-Paul, 2004. "How Do Firing Costs Affect Worker Flows in a World with Adverse Selection?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 22(3), pages 553-584, July.
  5. John M. Abowd & Francis Kramarz & David Margolis & Thomas Philippon, 1999. "Minimum Wages and Employment in France and the United States," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) halshs-00370392, HAL.
  6. Marianne Bertrand & Esther Duflo & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2002. "How Much Should We Trust Differences-in-Differences Estimates?," NBER Working Papers 8841, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. B Bell & Stephen Nickell, 1996. "Would Cutting Payroll Taxes on the Unskilled Have a Significant Effect on Unemployment?," CEP Discussion Papers dp0276, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  8. Dolado, Juan J. & Jansen, Marcel & Jimeno, Juan F, 2002. "A Matching Model of Crowding-Out and On-the-Job Search (with an Application to Spain)," CEPR Discussion Papers 3466, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. Maia Güell & Barbara Petrongolo, 2000. "Workers Transitions from Temporary to Permanent Employment: the Spanish Case," CEP Discussion Papers dp0438, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  10. Lawrence F. Katz, 1996. "Wage Subsidies for the Disadvantaged," NBER Working Papers 5679, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. David H. Autor & John J. Donohue & Stewart J. Schwab, 2006. "The Costs of Wrongful-Discharge Laws," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 88(2), pages 211-231, May.
  12. Stephen Nickell, 1997. "Unemployment and Labor Market Rigidities: Europe versus North America," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(3), pages 55-74, Summer.
  13. Fougere, Denis & Kramarz, Francis & Magnac, Thierry, 2000. "Youth employment policies in France," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 44(4-6), pages 928-942, May.
  14. Jennifer Hunt, 1992. "The Effect of Unemployment Compensation on Unemployment Duration in Germany," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 50, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  15. John Bishop, 1981. "Employment in Construction and Distribution Industries:The Impact of the New Jobs Tax Credit," NBER Chapters, in: Studies in Labor Markets, pages 209-246 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Jose Galdon-Sanchez & Maia Guell, 2000. "Let's go to court! Firing costs and dismissal conflicts," Working Papers 823, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  17. Daron Acemoglu & Joshua Angrist, 1998. "Consequences of Employment Protection? The Case of the Americans with Disabilities Act," NBER Working Papers 6670, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Adriana D. Kugler, 1999. "The impact of firing costs on turnover and unemployment: Evidence from the Colombian labour market reform," Economics Working Papers 388, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  19. Sergi Jiménez-Martín & Franco Peracchi, 2002. "Sample attrition and labor force dynamics: Evidence from the Spanish labor force survey," Spanish Economic Review, Springer, vol. 4(2), pages 79-102.
  20. Juan J Dolado & Carlos Garcia--Serrano & Juan F. Jimeno, 2002. "Drawing Lessons From The Boom Of Temporary Jobs In Spain," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(721), pages F270-F295, June.
  21. Olympia Bover & Ramón Gómez, 1999. "Another Look at Unemployment Duration: Long-Term Unemployment and Exit to a Permanent Job," Banco de Espa�a Working Papers 9903, Banco de Espa�a.
  22. Joshua Angrist & Alan Krueger, 1998. "Empirical Strategies in Labor Economics," Working Papers 780, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  23. Paul Oyer & Scott Schaefer, . "Layoffs and Litigation," IPR working papers 98-34, Institute for Policy Resarch at Northwestern University.
  24. Phelps, Edmund S, 1994. "Low-Wage Employment Subsidies versus the Welfare State," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(2), pages 54-58, May.
  25. Surendra Gera, 1987. "An Evaluation of the Canadian Employment Tax Credit Program," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 13(2), pages 196-207, June.
  26. Olivier Blanchard & Augustin Landier, 2001. "The Perverse Effects of Partial Labor Market Reform: Fixed Duration Contracts in France," NBER Working Papers 8219, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  27. repec:inr:wpaper:156232 is not listed on IDEAS
  28. Bentolila, Samuel & Saint-Paul, Gilles, 1992. "The macroeconomic impact of flexible labor contracts, with an application to Spain," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 36(5), pages 1013-1047, June.
  29. M. Concepcion Sanz, 1994. "Una estimación de la demanda de trabajo manual y no manual," Investigaciones Economicas, Fundación SEPI, vol. 18(2), pages 333-364, May.
  30. Kramarz, Francis & Philippon, Thomas, 2001. "The impact of differential payroll tax subsidies on minimum wage employment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 82(1), pages 115-146, October.
  31. Moulton, Brent R., 1986. "Random group effects and the precision of regression estimates," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 385-397, August.
  32. Gary Burtless, 1985. "Are targeted wage subsidies harmful? Evidence from a wage voucher experiment," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 39(1), pages 105-114, October.
  33. Cahuc, Pierre & Postel-Vinay, Fabien, 2001. "Temporary Jobs, Employment Protection and Labor Market Performance," IZA Discussion Papers 260, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  34. Juan F. Jimeno & Luis Toharia, 1993. "The effects of fixed-term employment on wages: theory and evidence from Spain," Investigaciones Economicas, Fundación SEPI, vol. 17(3), pages 475-494, September.
  35. repec:tpr:qjecon:v:119:y:2004:i:1:p:249-275 is not listed on IDEAS
  36. Richard Blundell & Monica Costa Dias & Costas Meghir & John Van Reenen, 2001. "Evaluating the employment impact of a mandatory job search assistance program," IFS Working Papers W01/20, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  37. Guy Laroque & Bernard Salanie, 2002. "Labour market institutions and employment in France," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 17(1), pages 25-48.
  38. Stephen G. Donald & Kevin Lang, 2007. "Inference with Difference-in-Differences and Other Panel Data," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 89(2), pages 221-233, May.
  39. Dave M. O'Neill, 1982. "Employment Tax Credit Programs: The Effects of Socioeconomic Targeting Provisions," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 17(3), pages 449-459.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:3724. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ()

The email address of this maintainer does not seem to be valid anymore. Please ask to update the entry or send us the correct address

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.