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Labor contracts and flexibility : evidence from a labor market reform in Spain

  • Alonso-Borrego, César
  • Aguirregabiria, Víctor

This paper evaluates the effects of a labor market reform in Spain that removed restrictions on fixed-term or temporary contracts. Our empirical results are based on longitudinal firm-level data that covers observations before and after the reform. We posit and estimate a dynamic labor demand model with indefinite and fixed-term labor contracts, and a general structure of labor adjustment costs. Experiments using the estimated model show important positive effects of the reform on total employment (i.e., a 3.5% increase) and job turnover. There is a strong substitution of permanent by temporary workers (i.e., a 10% decline in permanent employment). The effects on labor productivity and the value of firms are very small. In contrast, a counterfactual reform that halved all firing costs would produce the same employment increase as the actual reform, but much larger improvements in productivity and in the value of firms.

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File URL: http://e-archivo.uc3m.es/bitstream/handle/10016/3803/we091811.pdf?sequence=1
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Paper provided by Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Departamento de Economía in its series UC3M Working papers. Economics with number we091811.

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Date of creation: Feb 2009
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Handle: RePEc:cte:werepe:we091811
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.eco.uc3m.es/

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  1. PFANN, Gerard A. & PALM, Franz C., . "Asymmetric adjustment costs in non-linear labour demand models for the Netherlands and U.K. manufacturing sectors," CORE Discussion Papers RP 1044, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  2. Hopenhayn, Hugo & Rogerson, Richard, 1993. "Job Turnover and Policy Evaluation: A General Equilibrium Analysis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(5), pages 915-38, October.
  3. G. Steven Olley & Ariel Pakes, 1992. "The Dynamics of Productivity in the Telecommunications Equipment Industry," NBER Working Papers 3977, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Hunt, Jennifer, 2000. "Firing Costs, Employment Fluctuations and Average Employment: An Examination of Germany," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 67(266), pages 177-202, May.
  5. Newey, Whitney K., 1984. "A method of moments interpretation of sequential estimators," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 14(2-3), pages 201-206.
  6. Hansen, Lars Peter & Singleton, Kenneth J, 1982. "Generalized Instrumental Variables Estimation of Nonlinear Rational Expectations Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(5), pages 1269-86, September.
  7. Rust, John, 1987. "Optimal Replacement of GMC Bus Engines: An Empirical Model of Harold Zurcher," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(5), pages 999-1033, September.
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