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

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

  • Andrea Bassanini


    (ERMES - Equipe de recherche sur les marches, l'emploi et la simulation - CNRS - UP2 - Université Panthéon-Assas - M.E.N.E.S.R. - Ministère de l'Éducation nationale, de l’Enseignement supérieur et de la Recherche, DELSA - OCDE)

  • Romain Duval

    (ECO - Economics Department - OCDE)

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.

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 HAL in its series Post-Print with number halshs-00395144.

in new window

Date of creation: 2009
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press (OUP), 2009, 25 (1), pp.40-59
Handle: RePEc:hal:journl:halshs-00395144
Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server:
Contact details of provider: Web page:

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. Richard Layard & Stephen Nickell, 1998. "Labour Market Institutions and Economic Performance," CEP Discussion Papers dp0407, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  2. Andrea Bassanini & Romain Duval, 2006. "Employment Patterns in OECD Countries: Reassessing the Role of Policies and Institutions," OECD Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers 35, OECD Publishing.
  3. Dennis J. Snower & David T. Coe, 1996. "Policy Complementarities: The Case for Fundamental Labor Market Reform," IMF Working Papers 96/93, International Monetary Fund.
  4. Robert J. Flanagan, 1999. "Macroeconomic Performance and Collective Bargaining: An International Perspective," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(3), pages 1150-1175, September.
  5. Andrew Glyn & David Howell & John Schmitt, 2006. "Labor Market Reforms: The Evidence Does Not Tell the Orthodox Tale," Challenge, M.E. Sharpe, Inc., vol. 49(2), pages 5-22, April.
  6. Belot, M.V.K. & van Ours, J.C., 2000. "Does the Recent Success of some OECD Countries in Lowering their Unemployment Rates lie in the Clever Design of their Labour Market Reforms?," Discussion Paper 2000-40, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  7. Baccaro, Lucio & Rei, Diego, 2007. "Institutional Determinants of Unemployment in OECD Countries: Does the Deregulatory View Hold Water?," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 61(03), pages 527-569, July.
  8. Hausman, Jerry A. & Taylor, William E., 1981. "Panel data and unobservable individual effects," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 155-155, May.
  9. 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.
  10. Olivier Blanchard & Justin Wolfers, 1999. "The Role of Shocks and Institutions in the Rise of European Unemployment: The Aggregate Evidence," NBER Working Papers 7282, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Braumoeller, Bear F., 2004. "Hypothesis Testing and Multiplicative Interaction Terms," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 58(04), pages 807-820, October.
  12. Biagi, Federico & Lucifora, Claudio, 2008. "Demographic and education effects on unemployment in Europe," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(5), pages 1076-1101, October.
  13. Andrea Bassanini & Romain Duval, 2006. "The Determinants of Unemployment across OECD Countries," Post-Print halshs-00120584, HAL.
  14. repec:oup:restud:v:61:y:1994:i:3:p:397-415 is not listed on IDEAS
  15. 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.
  16. Stephen Nickell & Luca Nunziata & Wolfgang Ochel, 2005. "Unemployment in the OECD Since the 1960s. What Do We Know?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 115(500), pages 1-27, 01.
  17. Fiori, Giuseppe & Nicoletti, Giuseppe & Scarpetta, Stefano & Schiantarelli, Fabio, 2007. "Employment Outcomes and the Interaction Between Product and Labor Market Deregulation: Are They Substitutes or Complements?," IZA Discussion Papers 2770, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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:hal:journl:halshs-00395144. 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: (CCSD)

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.