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Structural reforms in Europe and the (in)coherence of institutions

The aim of this article is to analyse the consequences of some structural reforms on the institutional coherence of OECD countries, particularly Continental Europe, and on their economic performance, particularly employment. Because institutions in developed political economies are interrelated through a complex network of complementarities, institutional change has consequences beyond the area concerned by a reform. This also implies that there are complementarity effects in reforms themselves. A challenge of reform programs is therefore to achieve a new type of complementarities between reformed institutions. The paper presents empirical evidence questioning the compatibility of the ongoing structural reforms in product and labour markets with the existing institutional structures in some OECD countries. The coherence of the flexicurity strategy, i.e. a combination of labour market flexibility and generous welfare state, is also questioned, both from economic efficiency and political economy points of view.

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Paper provided by Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1), Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne in its series Documents de travail du Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne with number r08063.

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Length: 29 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:mse:cesdoc:r08063
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  1. Saint-Paul, Gilles, 2000. "The Political Economy of Labour Market Institutions," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198293323, March.
  2. Andrew Glyn, 2003. "Labor Market Institutions and Unemployment: A Critical Assessment of the Cross-Country Evidence," Economics Series Working Papers 168, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  3. Richard B. Freeman, 2005. "Labour Market Institutions Without Blinders: The Debate over Flexibility and Labour Market Performance," NBER Working Papers 11286, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Masahiko Aoki, 2013. "The Contingent Governance Of Teams: Analysis Of Institutional Complementarity," Chapters, in: Comparative Institutional Analysis, chapter 14, pages 230-249 Edward Elgar.
  5. Macedo, Jorge Braga de & Martins, Joaquim Oliveira, 2006. "Growth, Reform indicators and Policy complementarities," FEUNL Working Paper Series wp484, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Faculdade de Economia.
  6. Amable, Bruno, 2003. "The Diversity of Modern Capitalism," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199261147, March.
  7. Amable, Bruno & Gatti, Donatella, 2004. "Labour and Product Market Reforms: A Case for Policy Complementarity," IZA Discussion Papers 1190, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. Nickell, Stephen, 1999. "Product markets and labour markets1," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 1-20, March.
  9. Amable, Bruno & Demmou, Lilas & Gatti, Donatella, 2007. "Employment Performance and Institutions: New Answers to an Old Question," IZA Discussion Papers 2731, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  10. Amable, Bruno & Gatti, Donatella, 2004. "The Political Economy of Job Protection and Income Redistribution," IZA Discussion Papers 1404, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  11. Bruno Amable & Donatella Gatti, 2004. "Product market competition, job security, and aggregate employment," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 56(4), pages 667-686, October.
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