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Policy Complementarities; The Case for Fundamental Labor Market Reform


  • Dennis J. Snower
  • David T. Coe


This paper argues that an important group of labor market policies are complementary in the sense that the effect of each policy is greater when implemented in conjunction with the other policies than in isolation. This may explain why the diverse, piecemeal labor market reforms in many European countries in recent years have had so little success in reducing unemployment. What is required instead is deeper labor market reforms across a broader range of complementary policies and institutions. To be politically feasible, these reforms must be combined with measures to address distributional issues.

Suggested Citation

  • Dennis J. Snower & David T. Coe, 1996. "Policy Complementarities; The Case for Fundamental Labor Market Reform," IMF Working Papers 96/93, International Monetary Fund.
  • Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:96/93

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Manmohan S. Kumar & Dennis P Botman, 2007. "Global Aging Pressures; Impact of Fiscal Adjustment, Policy Cooperation, and Structural Reforms," IMF Working Papers 07/196, International Monetary Fund.
    2. Nicoletta Batini & Papa N'Diaye & Alessandro Rebucci, 2005. "The domestic and global impact of Japan’s policies for growth," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
    3. Ford, Robert & Laxton, Douglas, 1999. "World Public Debt and Real Interest Rates," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 15(2), pages 77-94, Summer.
    4. Hans Fehr & Sabine Jokisch & Laurence J. Kotlikoff, 2004. "The Role of Immigration in Dealing with the Developed World's Demographic Transition," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 60(3), pages 296-296, September.
    5. Dirk V Muir & Douglas Laxton & Dennis P Botman & Andrei Romanov, 2006. "A New-Open-Economy Macro Model for Fiscal Policy Evaluation," IMF Working Papers 06/45, International Monetary Fund.
    6. repec:rus:hseeco:316801 is not listed on IDEAS
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    More about this item


    Europe; unemployment; labor market; unemployment rate; job search; job creation;

    JEL classification:

    • E61 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Policy Objectives; Policy Designs and Consistency; Policy Coordination
    • H25 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Business Taxes and Subsidies
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
    • J23 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Demand
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • J32 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Nonwage Labor Costs and Benefits; Retirement Plans; Private Pensions
    • J38 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Public Policy
    • J41 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Labor Contracts
    • J63 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Turnover; Vacancies; Layoffs
    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search


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