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The Quality of Labor Relations and Unemployment

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  • Olivier Blanchard
  • Thomas Philippon

Abstract

In countries where wages are primarily set by collective bargaining, the effects on unemployment of changes in the economic environment depend crucially on the speed of learning of unions. This speed of learning is likely to depend in turn on the quality of the dialogue that unions have with firms, on what can more generally be called the quality of labor relations. In this paper, we examine the role this quality of labor relations has played in the evolution of unemployment across European countries over the last 30 years. We conclude that it has played an important role: Countries with worse labor relations have experienced higher unemployment. This conclusion remains even after controlling for labor institutions.

Suggested Citation

  • Olivier Blanchard & Thomas Philippon, 2004. "The Quality of Labor Relations and Unemployment," NBER Working Papers 10590, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:10590
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Steve Nickell & Jan van Ours, 2000. "The Netherlands and the United Kingdom: a European unemployment miracle?," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 15(30), pages 135-180, April.
    2. Ronald Schettkat, 2003. "Are institutional rigidities at the root of European unemployment?," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 27(6), pages 771-787, November.
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    More about this item

    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
    • J5 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining

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