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Product Market Reforms, Labour Market Institutions and Unemployment

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  • Griffith, Rachel
  • Harrison, Rupert
  • Macartney, Gareth

Abstract

We analyze the impact of product market competition on unemployment and wages, and how this depends on labour market institutions. We use differential changes in regulations across OECD countries over the 1980s and 1990s to identify the effects of competition. We find that increased product market competition reduces unemployment, and that it does so more in countries with labour market institutions that increase worker bargaining power. The theoretical intuition is that both firms with market power and unions with bargaining power are constrained in their behaviour by the elasticity of demand in the product market. We also find that the effect of increased competition on real wages is beneficial to workers, but less so when they have high bargaining power. Intuitively, real wages increase through a drop in the general price level, but workers with bargaining power lose out somewhat from a reduction in the rents that they had previously captured.

Suggested Citation

  • Griffith, Rachel & Harrison, Rupert & Macartney, Gareth, 2006. "Product Market Reforms, Labour Market Institutions and Unemployment," CEPR Discussion Papers 5599, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:5599
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Belot, Michele & van Ours, Jan C., 2001. "Unemployment and Labor Market Institutions: An Empirical Analysis," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 15(4), pages 403-418, December.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Product market regulation; Competition; Wage bargaining; Unemployment;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • J50 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining - - - General
    • L50 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy - - - General

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