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Shaping earnings instability: labour market policy and institutional factors

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  • SOLOGON Denisa
  • O'DONOGHUE Cathal

Abstract

The concerns regarding the economic insecurity stemming from earnings instability and volatility have been gaining momentum in the contemporary political discourse. If earnings instability/volatility is a proxy for risk, for risk-averse individuals, increasing earnings instability/volatility bears substantial welfare costs. Using the European Community Household Panel and the OECD labour market indicators, we explore the cross-national differences in earnings instability and earnings volatility across 14 European countries in the 1990s and the relationship between earnings instability/volatility, labour market institutions and macroeconomic shocks by means of non-linear least squares. Earnings instability is measured by the variance of transitory earnings, and earnings volatility by the standard deviation of the two-year changes in log earnings. Evaluated for the average country, we find that the employment protection legislation, the degree of corporatism and the deregulation in the product market are associated with a lower earnings instability and a lower earnings volatility. The institutions are found to shape the distributional effects of macroeconomic shocks on earnings instability and earnings volatility. The institutions which counteract the adverse effects of macroeconomic shocks on both earnings instability and earnings volatility, are a high corporatism, deregulated product markets and generous unemployment benefits. The institutions which counteract the adverse effects of macroeconomic shocks only on earnings volatility are the employment protection legislation and low tax-wedges on labour.

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  • SOLOGON Denisa & O'DONOGHUE Cathal, 2012. "Shaping earnings instability: labour market policy and institutional factors," LISER Working Paper Series 2012-06, Luxembourg Institute of Socio-Economic Research (LISER).
  • Handle: RePEc:irs:cepswp:2012-06
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    2. Paula Garda & Volker Ziemann, 2014. "Economic Policies and Microeconomic Stability: A Literature Review and Some Empirics," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 1115, OECD Publishing.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    economic insecurity; earnings instabiloty; labour market institutions; labour market policies and institutions;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C23 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • J08 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - General - - - Labor Economics Policies
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • J50 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining - - - General
    • J60 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - General

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