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Fiscal Policy and the Labour Market: The Effects of Public Sector Employment and Wages

Author

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  • Gomes, Pedro Maia

    () (Birkbeck, University of London)

Abstract

I build a dynamic stochastic general equilibrium model with search and matching frictions and two sectors in order to study the labour market effects of public sector employment and wages. Public sector wages plays an important role in achieving the efficient allocation. High wages induce too many unemployed to queue for public sector jobs, while if they are low, the government faces recruitment problems. The optimal steady-state wage premium depends mainly on the labour market friction parameters. In response to technology shocks, it is optimal to have procyclical public sector wages. Deviations from the optimal policy can increase the volatility of unemployment significantly. Public sector wage and employment shocks have mixed effects on unemployment. A wage shock raises the unemployment rate, while a reduction in the separations lowers it. Hiring more people can increase or decrease the unemployment rate. All shocks raise the wage and crowd out employment in the private sector. In the empirical part, I employ Bayesian methods to estimate the parameters of the model for the United States. I find that the direct search mechanism between the two sectors is an important element to explain business cycle fluctuations of the labour market variables.

Suggested Citation

  • Gomes, Pedro Maia, 2010. "Fiscal Policy and the Labour Market: The Effects of Public Sector Employment and Wages," IZA Discussion Papers 5321, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp5321
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Fabien Postel-Vinay & Hélène Turon, 2007. "The Public Pay Gap in Britain: Small Differences That (Don't?) Matter," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(523), pages 1460-1503, October.
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    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Fiscal Policy and the Labour Market: The Effects of Public Sector Employment and Wages
      by Christian Zimmermann in NEP-DGE blog on 2010-12-30 20:35:19

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Valerie A. Ramey, 2012. "Government Spending and Private Activity," NBER Chapters,in: Fiscal Policy after the Financial Crisis, pages 19-55 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Afonso, António & Gomes, Pedro, 2014. "Interactions between private and public sector wages," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 39(PA), pages 97-112.
    3. Blomquist, Johan & Nordin, Martin, 2017. "Do the CAP subsidies increase employment in Sweden? estimating the effects of government transfers using an exogenous change in the CAP," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(C), pages 13-24.
    4. Monacelli, Tommaso & Perotti, Roberto & Trigari, Antonella, 2010. "Unemployment fiscal multipliers," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(5), pages 531-553, July.
    5. Steinar Holden & Victoria Sparrman, 2018. "Do Government Purchases Affect Unemployment?," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 120(1), pages 124-158, January.
    6. T. Buyse & F. Heylen, 2012. "Leaving the empirical (battle)ground: Output and welfare effects of fiscal consolidation in general equilibrium," Working Papers of Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Belgium 12/826, Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration.
    7. Ekkehard Ernst & Uma Rani, 2011. "Understanding unemployment flows," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 27(2), pages 268-294.
    8. Pascal Jacquinot & Matija Lozej & Massimiliano Pisani, 2018. "Labor Tax Reforms, Cross-Country Coordination, and the Monetary Policy Stance in the Euro Area: A Structural Model-Based Approach," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 14(2), pages 65-140, June.
    9. Henrique S. Basso & James Costain, 2016. "Fiscal Delegation in a Monetary Union with Decentralized Public Spending," CESifo Economic Studies, CESifo, vol. 62(2), pages 256-288.
    10. Gonzalo Fernández-de-Córdoba & Javier Pérez & José Torres, 2012. "Public and private sector wages interactions in a general equilibrium model," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 150(1), pages 309-326, January.
    11. Michaillat, Pascal, 2011. "Fiscal Multipliers Over the Business Cycle," CEPR Discussion Papers 8610, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    12. Totzek, Alexander & Winkler, Roland C., 2010. "Fiscal stimulus in model with endogenous firm entry," MPRA Paper 26829, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised Nov 2010.
    13. Beatriz de Blas & James Costain, 2012. "Smoothing shocks and balancing budgets in a currency union^M," 2012 Meeting Papers 975, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    14. Burgert, Matthias & Gomes, Pedro, 2011. "The Effects of Government Spending: A Disaggregated Approach," Annual Conference 2011 (Frankfurt, Main): The Order of the World Economy - Lessons from the Crisis 48690, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    15. Costain, James & de Blas, Beatriz, 2012. "The role of fiscal delegation in a monetary union: a survey of the political economy issues," Working Papers in Economic Theory 2012/11, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (Spain), Department of Economic Analysis (Economic Theory and Economic History).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    public sector employment; public sector wages; unemployment; fiscal shocks;

    JEL classification:

    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • J45 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Public Sector Labor Markets

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