IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

Are specific skills an obstacle to labor market adjustment? Theory and an application to the EU enlargement

Listed author(s):
  • Lamo, Ana
  • Messina, Julián
  • Wasmer, Etienne

We argue that the existence of large amounts of specific human capital makes costly and slows down the adjustment in the labor market after large reallocation shocks. To illustrate this point we build a theoretical framework in which young agents’ career is heavily determined by initial education, and analyze the transition to a new steady-state after a sectoral demand shift. An interesting case study is the EU enlargement, which led to modernization of many sectors in eastern countries and to a fast decline of traditional industries. Using labor force data from a large economy with rigid labor markets, Poland, and a small open economy with increased flexibility, Estonia, we document and find support for our claim. Quantitative exercises suggest that the overspecializaton of the labor force in Poland explain to a large extent the much higher and persistent unemployment compared to Estonia during the period of EU enlargement. JEL Classification: J30

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: http://www.ecb.europa.eu/pub/pdf/scpwps/ecbwp585.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by European Central Bank in its series Working Paper Series with number 0585.

as
in new window

Length:
Date of creation: Feb 2006
Handle: RePEc:ecb:ecbwps:20060585
Contact details of provider: Postal:
60640 Frankfurt am Main, Germany

Phone: +49 69 1344 0
Fax: +49 69 1344 6000
Web page: http://www.ecb.europa.eu/
Email:


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. Wasmer, Etienne, 2002. "Interpreting Europe and US labor markets differences: the specificity of human capital investments," Arbetsrapport 2003:9, Institute for Futures Studies.
  2. Mortensen, Dale T. & Pissarides, Christopher A., 1999. "Job reallocation, employment fluctuations and unemployment," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 18, pages 1171-1228 Elsevier.
  3. Richard Rogerson, 2008. "Structural Transformation and the Deterioration of European Labor Market Outcomes," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 116(2), pages 235-259, 04.
  4. Saint-Paul, Gilles, 2005. "Making Sense of Bolkestein-Bashing: Trade Liberalization under Segmented Labor Markets," IZA Discussion Papers 1618, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. David Margolis, 1999. "Worker Displacement in France," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) halshs-00370589, HAL.
  6. Pietro Garibaldi & Zuzana Brixiova, 1997. "Labor Market Institutions and Unemployment Dynamics in Transition Economies," IMF Working Papers 97/137, International Monetary Fund.
  7. Boeri, Tito & Burda, Michael C., 1996. "Active labor market policies, job matching and the Czech miracle," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(3-5), pages 805-817, April.
  8. Leamer, Edward E., 1980. "Welfare computations and the optimal staging of tariff reductions in models with adjustment costs," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 21-36, February.
  9. Lars Ljungqvist & Thomas J. Sargent, 1998. "The European Unemployment Dilemma," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(3), pages 514-550, June.
  10. Willem H. Buiter, 1984. "Saddlepoint Problems in Contifuous Time Rational Expectations Models: A General Method and Some Macroeconomic Ehamples," NBER Technical Working Papers 0020, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Stefan Bender & Christian Dustmann & David Margolis & Costas Meghir, 2002. "Worker Displacement in France and Germany," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) halshs-00354397, HAL.
  12. repec:pri:indrel:dsp01g732d899j is not listed on IDEAS
  13. Haltiwanger, John C. & Vodopivec, Milan, 2002. "Gross worker and job flows in a transition economy: an analysis of Estonia," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(5), pages 601-630, November.
  14. Daniel S. Hamermesh, 1987. "The Costs of Worker Displacement," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 102(1), pages 51-75.
  15. Sargent, Thomas J & Wallace, Neil, 1973. "The Stability of Models of Money and Growth with Perfect Foresight," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 41(6), pages 1043-1048, November.
  16. Michael C. Burda & Jennifer Hunt, 2001. "From Reunification to Economic Integration: Productivity and the Labor Market in Eastern Germany," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 32(2), pages 1-92.
  17. Daniel S. Hamermesh, 1984. "The Costs of Worker Displacement," NBER Working Papers 1495, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Olivier Jean Blanchard & Lawrence F. Katz, 1992. "Regional Evolutions," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 23(1), pages 1-76.
  19. Pissarides, Christopher A, 1985. "Short-run Equilibrium Dynamics of Unemployment Vacancies, and Real Wages," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(4), pages 676-690, September.
  20. Messina, Julián, 2003. "The role of product market regulations in the process of structural change," Working Paper Series 0217, European Central Bank.
  21. repec:hal:journl:halshs-00354397 is not listed on IDEAS
  22. Henry S. Farber, 1998. "Mobility and Stability: The Dynamics of Job Change in Labor Markets," Working Papers 779, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  23. Acemoglu, Daron, 2001. "Good Jobs versus Bad Jobs," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 19(1), pages 1-21, January.
  24. Robert E. Hall, 2005. "Employment Fluctuations with Equilibrium Wage Stickiness," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 50-65, March.
  25. Robert C. Feenstra & Tracy R. Lewis, 1991. "Trade Adjustment Assistance and Pareto Gains From Trade," NBER Working Papers 3845, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  26. Richard Rogerson, 2005. "Sectoral Shocks, Specific Human Capital and Displaced Workers," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 8(1), pages 89-105, January.
  27. Robert Shimer, 2005. "The Cyclical Behavior of Equilibrium Unemployment and Vacancies," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 25-49, March.
  28. Gérard Roland, 2000. "Transition and Economics: Politics, Markets, and Firms," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262182033.
  29. Marimon, Ramon & Zilibotti, Fabrizio, 1996. "'Actual' versus 'Virtual' Employment in Europe: Is Spain Different?," CEPR Discussion Papers 1427, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  30. repec:fth:prinin:400 is not listed on IDEAS
  31. Blanchard, Olivier Jean & Kahn, Charles M, 1980. "The Solution of Linear Difference Models under Rational Expectations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(5), pages 1305-1311, July.
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:ecb:ecbwps:20060585. 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: (Official Publications)

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.