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Two-Tier Labor Markets in the Great Recession: France vs. Spain

  • Bentolila, Samuel

    ()

    (CEMFI, Madrid)

  • Cahuc, Pierre

    ()

    (Ecole Polytechnique, Paris)

  • Dolado, Juan J.

    ()

    (European University Institute)

  • Le Barbanchon, Thomas

    ()

    (CREST)

This paper analyzes the strikingly different response of unemployment to the Great Recession in France and Spain. Their labor market institutions are similar and their unemployment rates just before the crisis were both around 8%. Yet, in France, unemployment rate has increased by 2 percentage points, whereas in Spain it has shot up to 19% by the end of 2009. We assess what part of this differential is due to the larger gap between the dismissal costs of permanent and temporary contracts and the less restrictive rules regarding the use of the latter contracts in Spain. Using a calibrated search and matching model, we estimate that about 45% of the surge in Spanish unemployment could have been avoided had Spain adopted French employment protection legislation before the crisis started.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 5340.

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Length: 55 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2010
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Economic Journal (2012), 122, 155-187.
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp5340
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  1. Samuel Bentolila & Juan J. Dolado & Juan F. Jimeno, 2007. "Does Immigration Affect the Phillips Curve? Some Evidence for Spain," Kiel Working Papers 1333, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
  2. Hector Sala & Jose I. Silva & Manuel E. Toledo, 2007. "Flexibility at the margin and labor market volatility in OECD countries," Economics Working Papers we075832, Universidad Carlos III, Departamento de Economía.
  3. Samuel Bentolila & Andrea Ichino, 2008. "Unemployment and consumption near and far away from the Mediterranean," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 21(2), pages 255-280, April.
  4. James Costain & Juan F. Jimeno & Carlos Thomas, 2010. "Employment fluctuations in a dual labor market," Banco de Espa�a Working Papers 1013, Banco de Espa�a.
  5. Christopher A. Pissarides, 2000. "Equilibrium Unemployment Theory, 2nd Edition," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262161877, June.
  6. Petrongolo, Barbara & Pissarides, Christopher, 2000. "Looking Into The Black Box: A Survey Of The Matching Function," CEPR Discussion Papers 2409, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Mortensen, Dale T & Pissarides, Christopher A, 1994. "Job Creation and Job Destruction in the Theory of Unemployment," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 61(3), pages 397-415, July.
  8. Rupert, Peter & Wasmer, Etienne, 2012. "Housing and the labor market: Time to move and aggregate unemployment," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(1), pages 24-36.
  9. Kramarz, Francis & Philippon, Thomas, 2001. "The impact of differential payroll tax subsidies on minimum wage employment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 82(1), pages 115-146, October.
  10. Pierre Cahuc & Stéphane Carcillo, 2006. "The Shortcomings of a Partial Release of Employment Protection Laws; The Case of the 2005 French Reform," IMF Working Papers 06/301, International Monetary Fund.
  11. F. Bouvet, 2012. "The Beveridge curve in Europe: new evidence using national and regional data," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 44(27), pages 3585-3604, September.
  12. Ichino, Andrea & Riphahn, Regina, 2003. "The Effect of Employment Protection on Worker Effort: A Comparison of Absenteeism During and After Probation," CEPR Discussion Papers 3847, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  13. Wasmer, E., 1997. "Competition for Jobs in a Growing Economy and the Emergence of Dualism," DELTA Working Papers 97-13, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
  14. Sascha Becker & Samuel Bentolila & Ana Fernandes & Andrea Ichino, 2010. "Youth emancipation and perceived job insecurity of parents and children," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 23(3), pages 1047-1071, June.
  15. Bentolila, Samuel & Saint-Paul, Gilles, 1991. "The Macroeconomic Impact of Flexible Labour Contracts: An Application to Spain," CEPR Discussion Papers 596, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  16. P Garibaldi, 1995. "Job Flow Dynamics and Firing Restrictions," CEP Discussion Papers dp0256, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  17. 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.
  18. Saint-Paul, Gilles, 2000. "The Political Economy of Labour Market Institutions," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198293323.
  19. L'Haridon, Olivier & Malherbet, Franck, 2009. "Employment protection reform in search economies," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 53(3), pages 255-273, April.
  20. Martin Werding (ed.), 2006. "Structural Unemployment in Western Europe: Reasons and Remedies," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262232464, June.
  21. Cahuc, Pierre & Postel-Vinay, Fabien, 2002. "Temporary jobs, employment protection and labor market performance," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(1), pages 63-91, February.
  22. Yolanda Rebollo Sanz & J. Ignacio García-Pérez, 2009. "Do wage subsidies affect the subsequent employment stability of permanent workers?: the case of Spain," Working Papers 09.18, Universidad Pablo de Olavide, Department of Economics.
  23. Samuel Bentolila, . "Internal migration in Spain," Working Papers 2001-07, FEDEA.
  24. Miguel-Angel Lopez-Garcia, 2004. "Housing, prices and tax policy in Spain," Spanish Economic Review, Springer, vol. 6(1), pages 29-52, April.
  25. Bentolila, Samuel & Saint-Paul, Gilles, 1992. "The macroeconomic impact of flexible labor contracts, with an application to Spain," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 36(5), pages 1013-1047, June.
  26. Samuel Bentolila & Juan F. Jimeno, 2003. "Spanish Unemployment: The End of the Wild Ride?," CESifo Working Paper Series 940, CESifo Group Munich.
  27. Samuel Bentolila & Juan Jose Dolado & Juan F. Jimeno, 2008. "Two-tier Employment Protection Reforms: The Spanish Experience," CESifo DICE Report, Ifo Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 6(4), pages 49-56, December.
  28. Samuel Bentolila & Juan F. Jimeno, . "Spanish Unemployment: The End of the Wild Ride?," Working Papers 2003-10, FEDEA.
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