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Unemployment, institutions and reform complementarities: Re-assessing the aggregate evidence for OECD countries

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  • Andrea Bassanini

    () (ERMES - Equipe de recherche sur les marches, l'emploi et la simulation - UP2 - Université Panthéon-Assas - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, DELSA - OCDE)

  • Romain Duval

    (ECO - Economics Department - OCDE)

Abstract

There is no or limited consensus on the quantitative impact of institutions on unemployment, which has led some to question the case for structural reforms. Recent studies suggest also that institutions interact with each other and cannot be analysed in isolation. In this paper, we estimate a standard reduced-form model to explore the institutional determinants of unemployment and assess its robustness using a large battery of robustness checks. We show that, although the impact of each individual policy varies across countries due to policy interactions, the simple linear model can be used to draw inferences for countries with an average mix of institutions. The model is then extended to encompass systemic interactions, in which individual policies interact with the overall institutional framework. We find relatively robust evidence of broad reform complementarities.

Suggested Citation

  • Andrea Bassanini & Romain Duval, 2009. "Unemployment, institutions and reform complementarities: Re-assessing the aggregate evidence for OECD countries," Post-Print halshs-00395144, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:journl:halshs-00395144
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-00395144
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Michèle Belot & Jan C. van Ours, 2004. "Does the recent success of some OECD countries in lowering their unemployment rates lie in the clever design of their labor market reforms?," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 56(4), pages 621-642, October.
    2. Mortensen, Dale & Pissarides, Christopher, 2011. "Job Creation and Job Destruction in the Theory of Unemployment," Economic Policy, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration, vol. 1, pages 1-19.
    3. Nickell, Stephen & Layard, Richard, 1999. "Labor market institutions and economic performance," Handbook of Labor Economics,in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 46, pages 3029-3084 Elsevier.
    4. Andrea Bassanini & Romain Duval, 2006. "Employment Patterns in OECD Countries: Reassessing the Role of Policies and Institutions," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 486, OECD Publishing.
    5. Blanchard, Olivier & Wolfers, Justin, 2000. "The Role of Shocks and Institutions in the Rise of European Unemployment: The Aggregate Evidence," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(462), pages 1-33, March.
    6. David T. Coe & Dennis J. Snower, 1997. "Policy Complementarities: The Case for Fundamental Labor Market Reform," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 44(1), pages 1-35, March.
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    11. Giuseppe Fiori & Giuseppe Nicoletti & Stefano Scarpetta & Fabio Schiantarelli, 2007. "Employment Outcomes and the Interaction Between Product and Labor Market Deregulation: Are They Substitutes or Complements?," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 663, Boston College Department of Economics, revised 08 Aug 2008.
    12. Stephen Nickell, 1997. "Unemployment and Labor Market Rigidities: Europe versus North America," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(3), pages 55-74, Summer.
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    14. Andrew Glyn & David Howell & John Schmitt, 2006. "Labor Market Reforms: The Evidence Does Not Tell the Orthodox Tale," Challenge, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 49(2), pages 5-22.
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    16. Andrea Bassanini & Romain Duval, 2006. "The Determinants of Unemployment across OECD Countries," Post-Print halshs-00120584, HAL.
    17. Howell David R. & Baker Dean & Glyn Andrew & Schmitt John, 2007. "Are Protective Labor Market Institutions at the Root of Unemployment? A Critical Review of the Evidence," Capitalism and Society, De Gruyter, vol. 2(1), pages 1-73, May.
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    Keywords

    institutions; aggregate unemployment; reform complementarities;

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