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Structural reforms in Europe and the (in)coherence of institutions

  • Bruno Amable


    (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS)

The aim of this article is to analyse the consequences of some structural reforms on the institutional coherence of OECD countries, particularly Continental Europe, and on their economic performance, particularly employment. Because institutions in developed political economies are interrelated through a complex network of complementarities, institutional change has consequences beyond the area concerned by a reform. This also implies that there are complementarity effects in reforms themselves. A challenge of reform programs is therefore to achieve a new type of complementarities between reformed institutions. The paper presents empirical evidence questioning the compatibility of the ongoing structural reforms in product and labour markets with the existing institutional structures in some OECD countries. The coherence of the flexicurity strategy, i.e. a combination of labour market flexibility and generous welfare state, is also questioned, both from economic efficiency and political economy points of view.

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Paper provided by HAL in its series Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) with number halshs-00340417.

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Date of creation: Jul 2008
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Handle: RePEc:hal:cesptp:halshs-00340417
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  1. Amable, Bruno & Demmou, Lilas & Gatti, Donatella, 2007. "Employment Performance and Institutions: New Answers to an Old Question," IZA Discussion Papers 2731, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Amable, Bruno & Gatti, Donatella, 2004. "Labour and Product Market Reforms: A Case for Policy Complementarity," IZA Discussion Papers 1190, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Amable, Bruno, 2003. "The Diversity of Modern Capitalism," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199261147.
  4. Richard B. Freeman, 2005. "Labour Market Institutions Without Blinders: The Debate over Flexibility and Labour Market Performance," NBER Working Papers 11286, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Bruno Amable & Donatella Gatti, 2004. "Product market competition, job security, and aggregate employment," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 56(4), pages 667-686, October.
  6. Oliveira Martins, Joaquim & De Macedo, Jorge Braga, 2008. "Growth, Reform Indicators and Policy Complementarities," Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine 123456789/7960, Paris Dauphine University.
  7. Saint-Paul, Gilles, 2000. "The Political Economy of Labour Market Institutions," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198293323.
  8. Amable, Bruno & Gatti, Donatella, 2004. "The Political Economy of Job Protection and Income Redistribution," IZA Discussion Papers 1404, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  9. Dean Baker & Andrew Glyn & David Howell & John Schmitt, 2002. "Labor Market Institutions and Unemployment: A Critical Assessment of the Cross-Country Evidence," SCEPA working paper series. SCEPA's main areas of research are macroeconomic policy, inequality and poverty, and globalization. 2002-17, Schwartz Center for Economic Policy Analysis (SCEPA), The New School.
  10. Nickell, Stephen, 1999. "Product markets and labour markets1," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 1-20, March.
  11. Aoki, Masahiko, 1994. "The Contingent Governance of Teams: Analysis of Institutional Complementarity," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 35(3), pages 657-76, August.
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