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

Flexibility at the margin and labor market volatility in OECD countries

  • Hector Sala


  • Jose I. Silva


  • Manuel E. Toledo


We argue that segmented labor markets with flexibility at the margin (e.g., just affecting fixed-term employees) may achieve similar volatility than fully deregulated labor markets. Flexibility at the margin produces a gap in separation costs among matched workers that cause fixed-term employment to be the main workforce adjustment device. Moreover, in the presence of limitations in the duration and number of renewals of fixed-term contracts, firms respond by fostering labor turnover which further raises the volatility of the labor market. We present a matching model with temporary and permanent jobs where (i) the gap in firing costs and (ii) restrictions in the use of fixedterm contracts play the central role to explain the similar volatility observed in many regulated labor markets with flexibility at the margin vis-à-vis the fully deregulated ones.

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: no

Paper provided by Universidad Carlos III, Departamento de Economía in its series Economics Working Papers with number we075832.

in new window

Date of creation: Jul 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cte:werepe:we075832
Contact details of provider: Postal: C./ Madrid, 126, 28903 Getafe (Madrid)
Phone: +34-91 6249594
Fax: +34-91 6249329
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

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. Jan Babecký & Philip Du Caju & Theodora Kosma & Martina Lawless & Julián Messina & Tairi Rõõm, 2010. "Downward nominal and real wage rigidity: survey evidence from European firms," Working Papers 110, Bank of Greece.
  2. Tito Boeri & Pietro Garibaldi, 2007. "Two Tier Reforms of Employment Protection: A Honeymoon Effect?," Carlo Alberto Notebooks 37, Collegio Carlo Alberto.
  3. Pietro Garibaldi & Giovanni L. Violante, 2005. "The Employment Effects of Severance Payments with Wage Rigidities," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 115(506), pages 799-832, October.
  4. Bruce D. Meyer, 1988. "Unemployment Insurance And Unemployment Spells," NBER Working Papers 2546, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. P Garibaldi, 1995. "Job Flow Dynamics and Firing Restrictions," CEP Discussion Papers dp0256, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  6. Robert Shimer, 2005. "The Cyclical Behavior of Equilibrium Unemployment and Vacancies," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 25-49, March.
  7. James Costain & Michael Reiter, 2005. "Business Cycles, Unemployment Insurance and the Calibration of Matching Models," Working Papers 215, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
  8. Etienne Wasmer, 1997. "Competition for Jobs in a Growing Economy and the Emergence of Dualism," Working Papers 97-15, Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistique.
  9. Mortensen, Dale T. & Nagypál, Éva, 2005. "More on Unemployment and Vacancy Fluctuations," IZA Discussion Papers 1765, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  10. Burgess, Simon & Turon, Hélène, 2010. "Worker flows, job flows and unemployment in a matching model," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 54(3), pages 393-408, April.
  11. Barbara Petrongolo & Christopher A. Pissarides, 2000. "Looking Into the Black Box: A Survey of the Matching Function," CEP Discussion Papers dp0470, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  12. Costas Azariadis & Christopher Pissarides, 2007. "Unemployment dynamics with international capital mobility," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 2476, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  13. 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).
  14. Antonella Trigari, 2009. "Equilibrium Unemployment, Job Flows, and Inflation Dynamics," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 41(1), pages 1-33, 02.
  15. Dale T. Mortensen & Christopher A. Pissarides, 1993. "Job Creation and Job Destruction in the Theory of Unemployment," CEP Discussion Papers dp0110, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  16. Francesco Zanetti, 2006. "Labor Market Institutions and Aggregate Fluctuations in a Search and Matching Model," Computing in Economics and Finance 2006 445, Society for Computational Economics.
  17. Hernanz, Virginia & Jimeno, Juan F & Kugler, Adriana D., 2003. "Employment Consequences of Restrictive Permanent Contracts: Evidence from Spanish Labour Market Reforms," CEPR Discussion Papers 3724, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  18. Silva, José Ignacio & Toledo, Manuel, 2009. "Labor Turnover Costs And The Cyclical Behavior Of Vacancies And Unemployment," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 13(S1), pages 76-96, May.
  19. Hagedorn, Marcus & Manovskii, Iourii, 2008. "The cyclical behavior of equilibrium unemployment and vacancies revisited," Working Paper Series 0853, European Central Bank.
  20. Bentolila, Samuel & Cahuc, Pierre & Dolado, Juan J. & Le Barbanchon, Thomas, 2010. "Two-Tier Labor Markets in the Great Recession: France vs. Spain," IZA Discussion Papers 5340, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  21. John M. Abowd & Francis Kramarz, 1997. "The Costs of Hiring and Separations," NBER Working Papers 6110, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  22. Cabrales, Antonio & Hopenhayn, Hugo A., 1997. "Labor-market flexibility and aggregate employment volatility," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 189-228, June.
  23. Michael W. L. Elsby & Bart Hobijn & Ayşegül Şahin, 2013. "Unemployment Dynamics in the OECD," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 95(2), pages 530-548, May.
  24. 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.
  25. James H. Stock & Mark W. Watson, 2003. "Understanding Changes in International Business Cycle Dynamics," NBER Working Papers 9859, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  26. Messina, Julián & Vallanti, Giovanna, 2006. "Job Flow Dynamics and Firing Restrictions: Evidence from Europe," IZA Discussion Papers 2045, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  27. Mortensen, Dale T. & Pissarides, Christopher A., 1999. "New developments in models of search in the labor market," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 39, pages 2567-2627 Elsevier.
  28. Héctor Sala & José I. Silva, 2009. "Flexibility at the margin and labour market volatility: The case of Spain," Investigaciones Economicas, Fundación SEPI, vol. 33(2), pages 145-178, May.
  29. James Costain & Juan F. Jimeno & Carlos Thomas, 2010. "Employment fluctuations in a dual labor market," Banco de Espa�a Working Papers 1013, Banco de Espa�a.
  30. William Kerr & Adriana Kugler & David Autor, 2007. "Do Employment Protections Reduce Productivity? Evidence from U.S. States," Working Papers 07-04, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  31. Wouter J. den Haan & Garey Ramey & Joel Watson, 1997. "Job Destruction and Propagation of Shocks," NBER Working Papers 6275, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  32. Marcelo Veracierto, 2004. "Firing Costs and Business Cycle Fluctuations," 2004 Meeting Papers 590, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  33. Assar Lindbeck & Dennis J. Snower, 1989. "The Insider-Outsider Theory of Employment and Unemployment," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 026262074x, June.
  34. Cecilia Albert & Carlos García-Serrano & Virginia Hernanz, 2004. "Firm-provided training and temporary contracts," Spanish Economic Review, Springer, vol. 7(1), pages 67-88, January.
  35. Victor Aguirregabiria & Cesar Alonso-Borrego, 2014. "Labor Contracts And Flexibility: Evidence From A Labor Market Reform In Spain," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 52(2), pages 930-957, 04.
  36. Osuna Victoria, 2005. "The Effects of Reducing Firing Costs in Spain: A Lost Opportunity?," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 5(1), pages 1-29, May.
  37. Carl E. Walsh, 2005. "Labor Market Search, Sticky Prices, and Interest Rate Policies," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 8(4), pages 829-849, October.
  38. O Blanchard & A Landier, 2002. "The Perverse Effects of Partial Labour Market Reform: fixed--Term Contracts in France," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(480), pages F214-F244, June.
  39. David H. Autor & William R. Kerr & Adriana D. Kugler, 2007. "Does Employment Protection Reduce Productivity? Evidence From US States," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(521), pages 189-217, 06.
  40. repec:fda:fdaddt:2001-11 is not listed on IDEAS
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:cte:werepe:we075832. 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: ()

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.