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Boosting Job Growth in the Western Balkans

Author

Listed:
  • Dmitriy Kovtun
  • Alexis Mayer Cirkel
  • Zuzana Murgasova
  • Dustin Smith
  • Suchanan Tambunlertchai

Abstract

Labor markets in the Western Balkan countries (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, and Serbia) are characterized by some of the highest unemployment and low employment rates in Europe. We analyze the poor labor market outcomes in these countries by comparison with the New Member States of the European Union and advanced European economies. Our findings suggest that long-lasting labor market weaknesses in the Western Balkans have structural roots: the institutional setup of the labor markets, labor cost factors, and especially the unfinished transition process. Finally, we offer policy recommendations for boosting job creation.

Suggested Citation

  • Dmitriy Kovtun & Alexis Mayer Cirkel & Zuzana Murgasova & Dustin Smith & Suchanan Tambunlertchai, 2014. "Boosting Job Growth in the Western Balkans," IMF Working Papers 14/16, International Monetary Fund.
  • Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:14/16
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Andrea Bassanini & Luca Nunziata & Danielle Venn, 2009. "Job protection legislation and productivity growth in OECD countries," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 24, pages 349-402, April.
    2. Koettl, Johannes & Weber, Michael, 2012. "Does Formal Work Pay? The Role of Labor Taxation and Social Benefit Design in the New EU Member States," IZA Discussion Papers 6313, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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    4. Margaret S. McMillan & Dani Rodrik, 2011. "Globalization, Structural Change and Productivity Growth," NBER Working Papers 17143, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    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. Layard, Richard & Nickell, Stephen & Jackman, Richard, 2005. "Unemployment: Macroeconomic Performance and the Labour Market," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199279173.
    7. Hansen, Gary D & Imrohoroglu, Ayse, 1992. "The Role of Unemployment Insurance in an Economy with Liquidity Constraints and Moral Hazard," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, pages 118-142.
    8. David A. Grigorian & Tigran A. Melkonyan, 2011. "Destined to Receive: The Impact of Remittances on Household Decisions in Armenia," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 15(1), pages 139-153, February.
    9. Lorenzo E Bernal-Verdugo & Davide Furceri & Dominique Guillaume, 2012. "Labor Market Flexibility and Unemployment: New Empirical Evidence of Static and Dynamic Effects," Comparative Economic Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Association for Comparative Economic Studies, vol. 54(2), pages 251-273, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Vukšić, Goran & Holzner, Mario, 2016. "Trade and fiscal imbalances in Southeastern Europe: Can fiscal devaluation help?," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 40(4), pages 568-581.
    2. World Bank Group & Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, 2017. "Western Balkans Labor Market Trends 2017," World Bank Other Operational Studies 26395, The World Bank.

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