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Job Protection Deregulation in Good and Bad Times

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  • Davide Furceri
  • Mr. Romain A Duval
  • João Tovar Jalles

Abstract

This paper explores the short-term employment effect of deregulating job protection for regular workers and how it varies with prevailing business cycle conditions. We apply a local projection method to a newly constructed “narrative” dataset of major regular job protection reforms covering 26 advanced economies over the past four decades. The analysis relies on country-sector-level data, using as an identifying assumption the fact that stringent dismissal regulations are more binding in sectors that are characterized by a higher “natural” propensity to regularly adjust their workforce. We find that the responses of sectoral employment to large job protection deregulation shocks depend crucially on the state of the economy at the time of reform——they are positive in an expansion, but become negative in a recession. These findings are consistent with theory, and are robust to a broad range of robustness checks including an Instrumental Variable approach using political economy drivers of reforms as instruments. Our results provide a case for undertaking job protection reform in good times, or for designing it in ways that enhance its short-term impact.

Suggested Citation

  • Davide Furceri & Mr. Romain A Duval & João Tovar Jalles, 2017. "Job Protection Deregulation in Good and Bad Times," IMF Working Papers 2017/277, International Monetary Fund.
  • Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:2017/277
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    2. Setzer, Ralph & Stieglitz, Moritz, 2019. "Firm-level employment, labour market reforms, and bank distress," Working Paper Series 2334, European Central Bank.
    3. Papapetrou, Evangelia & Tsalaporta, Pinelopi, 2020. "The impact of population aging in rich countries: What’s the future?," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 77-95.
    4. Mirko Abbritti & Juan Equiza-Goñi & Fernando Perez Gracia & Tommaso Trani, 0. "The effect of oil price shocks on economic activity: a local projections approach," Journal of Economics and Finance, Springer;Academy of Economics and Finance, vol. 0, pages 1-16.
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    6. Romain Duval & Prakash Loungani, 2021. "Designing Labor Market Institutions in Emerging Market and Developing Economies: A Review of Evidence and IMF Policy Advice," Comparative Economic Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Association for Comparative Economic Studies, vol. 63(1), pages 31-83, March.
    7. Terzi, Alessio, 2020. "Macroeconomic adjustment in the euro area," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 128(C).
    8. Yann Thommen, 2020. "Reforms of Collective Bargaining Institutions in European Union Countries: Bad Timing, Bad Outcomes?," Working Papers of BETA 2020-47, Bureau d'Economie Théorique et Appliquée, UDS, Strasbourg.
    9. Yann Thommen, 2019. "Réformes structurelles et résilience des marchés du travail en zone euro," Bulletin de l'Observatoire des politiques économiques en Europe, Observatoire des Politiques Économiques en Europe (OPEE), vol. 41(1), pages 21-32, November.
    10. Jesus Ferreiro & Carmen Gomez, 2020. "Employment protection and labor market results in Europe," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 30(2), pages 401-449, April.
    11. Ara Stepanyan & Jorge Salas, 2020. "Distributional Implications of Labor Market Reforms: Learning from Spain's Experience," IMF Working Papers 2020/029, International Monetary Fund.
    12. Yann Thommen, 2019. "Réformes structurelles et résilience des marchés du travail en zone euro," Bulletin de l'Observatoire des politiques économiques en Europe, Observatoire des Politiques Économiques en Europe (OPEE), vol. 41(1), pages 21-32, November.
    13. Setzer, Ralph & Stieglitz, Moritz, 2019. "Firm-level employment, labour market reforms, and bank distress," IWH Discussion Papers 15/2019, Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH).
    14. Jesus Ferreiro & Carmen Gómez, 2019. "Employment Protection, Employment and Unemployment Rates in European Union Countries During the Great Recession," Working Papers 0037, ASTRIL - Associazione Studi e Ricerche Interdisciplinari sul Lavoro.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    WP; business cycle; EPL reform; differential employment effect; labour market; layoff rate; Structural Reforms; Labor Market; Deregulation; Employment Protection; Growth; Employment; severance pay; Business cycles; Labor market frictions; Southern Europe;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • J08 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - General - - - Labor Economics Policies
    • J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure
    • J65 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment Insurance; Severance Pay; Plant Closings
    • O43 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Institutions and Growth
    • O47 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Empirical Studies of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity; Cross-Country Output Convergence

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