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Evaluating Labor Market Reforms: A General Equilibrium Approach

Listed author(s):
  • Alonso-Borrego, César

    ()

    (Universidad Carlos III de Madrid)

  • Fernández-Villaverde, Jesús

    ()

    (University of Pennsylvania)

  • Galdon-Sanchez, Jose Enrique

    ()

    (Universidad Pública de Navarra)

Job security provisions are commonly invoked to explain the high and persistent European unemployment rates. This belief has led several countries to reform their labor markets and liberalize the use of fixed-term contracts. Despite how common such contracts have become after deregulation, there is a lack of quantitative analysis of their impact on the economy. To fill this gap, we build a general equilibrium model with heterogeneous agents and firing costs in the tradition of Hopenhayn and Rogerson (1993). We calibrate our model to Spanish data, choosing in part parameters estimated with firm-level longitudinal data. Spain is particularly interesting, since its labor regulations are among the most protective in the OECD, and both its unemployment and its share of fixed-term employment are the highest. We find that fixedterm contracts increase unemployment, reduce output, and raise productivity. The welfare effects are ambiguous.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 1129.

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Length: 46 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2004
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp1129
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References listed on IDEAS
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  1. César Alonso-Borrego & Jesús Fernández-Villaverde & José E. Galdón-Sánchez, 2004. "Evaluating Labor Market Reforms: A General Equilibrium Approach," PIER Working Paper Archive 04-016, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
  2. Moen, E.R., 1995. "Competitive Search Equilibrium," Memorandum 37/1995, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
  3. Victoria Osuna Padilla, 2004. "The Effects of Reducing Firing Costs in Spain: a Lost Opportunity?," Economic Working Papers at Centro de Estudios Andaluces E2004/18, Centro de Estudios Andaluces.
  4. Alison L. Booth & Marco Francesconi & Jeff Frank, 2002. "Temporary Jobs: Stepping Stones Or Dead Ends?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(480), pages 189-213, June.
  5. Victor Aguirregabiria & Pedro Mira, 1999. "Swapping the Nested Fixed-Point Algorithm: a Class of Estimators for Discrete Markov Decision Models," Computing in Economics and Finance 1999 332, Society for Computational Economics.
  6. Wasmer, E., 1997. "Competition for Jobs in a Growing Economy and the Emergence of Dualism," DELTA Working Papers 97-13, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
  7. Bertil Holmlund & Donald Storrie, 2002. "Temporary Work In Turbulent Times: The Swedish Experience," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(480), pages 245-269, June.
  8. Lars Ljungqvist, 2002. "How Do Lay--off Costs Affect Employment?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(482), pages 829-853, October.
  9. Hopenhayn, Hugo & Rogerson, Richard, 1993. "Job Turnover and Policy Evaluation: A General Equilibrium Analysis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(5), pages 915-938, October.
  10. Juan J Dolado & Carlos Garcia--Serrano & Juan F. Jimeno, 2002. "Drawing Lessons From The Boom Of Temporary Jobs In Spain," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(721), pages 270-295, June.
  11. Barbara Petrongolo & Christopher A. Pissarides, 2000. "Looking Into the Black Box: A Survey of the Matching Function," CEP Discussion Papers dp0470, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  12. Marcelo Veracierto, 2000. "What are the short-run effects of increasing labor market flexibility?," Working Paper Series WP-00-29, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  13. Juan F. Jimeno & Luis Toharia, 1993. "The effects of fixed-term employment on wages: theory and evidence from Spain," Investigaciones Economicas, Fundación SEPI, vol. 17(3), pages 475-494, September.
  14. Cahuc, Pierre & Postel-Vinay, Fabien, 2002. "Temporary jobs, employment protection and labor market performance," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(1), pages 63-91, February.
  15. Maia Güell, 2000. "Fixed-Term Contracts and Unemployment: An Efficiency Wage Analysis," CEP Discussion Papers dp0461, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  16. bertola, G. & Rogerson, R., 1996. "Institutions and Labor Reallocation," Papers 272, Banca Italia - Servizio di Studi.
  17. Dominique Goux & Eric Maurin & Marianne Pauchet, 1999. "Fixed-term Contracts and the Dynamics of Labour Demand," Working Papers 99-02, Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistique.
  18. S. Rao Aiyagari, 1993. "Uninsured idiosyncratic risk and aggregate saving," Working Papers 502, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  19. Kramarz, Francis & Michaud, Marie-Laure, 2004. "The Shape of Hiring and Separation Costs," IZA Discussion Papers 1170, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  20. Samuel Bentolila & Giuseppe Bertola, 1990. "Firing Costs and Labour Demand: How Bad is Eurosclerosis?," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 57(3), pages 381-402.
  21. Victor Aguirregabiria & Cesar Alonso-Borrego, 2009. "Labor Contracts and Flexibility: Evidence from a Labor Market Reform in Spain," Working Papers tecipa-346, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
  22. Fernando Alvarez & Marcelo Veracierto, 2000. "Labor-Market Policies in an Equilibrium Search Model," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1999, Volume 14, pages 265-316 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  23. Bertola, Giuseppe, 1990. "Job security, employment and wages," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 34(4), pages 851-879, June.
  24. 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.
  25. Edward P. Lazear, 1990. "Job Security Provisions and Employment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 105(3), pages 699-726.
  26. Abowd, John M. & Kramarz, Francis, 2003. "The costs of hiring and separations," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(5), pages 499-530, October.
  27. Maia Güell & Barbara Petrongolo, 2000. "Workers Transitions from Temporary to Permanent Employment: the Spanish Case," CEP Discussion Papers dp0438, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  28. Boeri, Tito, 1999. "Enforcement of employment security regulations, on-the-job search and unemployment duration," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 65-89, January.
  29. Olivier Blanchard & Augustin Landier, 2001. "The Perverse Effects of Partial Labor Market Reform: Fixed Duration Contracts in France," NBER Working Papers 8219, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  30. Bertola, Giuseppe, 2002. "A Pure Theory of Job Security and Labour Income Risk," CEPR Discussion Papers 3430, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  33. repec:pri:indrel:dsp011j92g746j is not listed on IDEAS
  34. Carlos Díaz-Moreno & José E. Galdón-Sánchez, 1999. "How important is firm behavior to understand unemployment? Evidence from Spain," Investigaciones Economicas, Fundación SEPI, vol. 23(2), pages 203-224, May.
  35. Marcelo Veracierto, 2000. "Employment flows, capital mobility, and policy analysis," Working Paper Series WP-00-5, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  36. Cabrales, Antonio & Hopenhayn, Hugo A., 1997. "Labor-market flexibility and aggregate employment volatility," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 189-228, June.
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