IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Costly Labor Adjustment: General Equilibrium Effects of China's Employment Regulations


  • Russell Cooper
  • Guan Gong
  • Ping Yan


This paper studies the employment, productivity and welfare implications of new Chinese labor regulations intended to protect workers' employment conditions. We estimate a general equilibrium model of costly labor adjustment from data prior to the policy. Using the estimated parameters, we study the effects of the interventions. We find that increases in severance payments lead to a sizable increase in firm size, lower aggregate employment, a significant reduction in labor reallocation, an increase in the exit rate and a welfare loss. A policy of credit market liberalization will reduce firm size, increase aggregate employment, increase labor reallocation, wages and welfare. If in place at the time, these frictions would have reduced China's annual growth rate by 1.1 percentage points over the 1998-2007 period.

Suggested Citation

  • Russell Cooper & Guan Gong & Ping Yan, 2013. "Costly Labor Adjustment: General Equilibrium Effects of China's Employment Regulations," NBER Working Papers 19324, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:19324
    Note: EFG

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Yavuz Arslan & Bulent Guler & Temel Taskin, 2015. "Joint Dynamics of House Prices and Foreclosures," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 47(S1), pages 133-169, March.
    2. Jeske, Karsten & Krueger, Dirk & Mitman, Kurt, 2011. "Housing and the Macroeconomy: The Role of Bailout Guarantees for Government Sponsored Enterprises," CEPR Discussion Papers 8624, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    3. Carlos Hatchondo, Juan & Martinez, Leonardo & Sánchez, Juan M., 2015. "Mortgage defaults," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(C), pages 173-190.
      • Hatchondo, Juan Carlos & Martinez, Leonardo & Sánchez, Juan M., 2011. "Mortgage defaults," Working Papers 2011-019, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, revised 31 Jul 2015.
      • Leonardo Martinez & Juan Carlos Hatchondo & Juan M. Sanchez, 2012. "Mortgage Defaults," IMF Working Papers 12/26, International Monetary Fund.
      • Juan Carlos Hatchondo & Leonardo Martinez & Juan M. Sanchez, 2015. "Mortgage Defaults," Caepr Working Papers 2015-011 Classification-D, Center for Applied Economics and Policy Research, Economics Department, Indiana University Bloomington.
      • Juan Carlos Hatchondo & Leonardo Martinez & Juan M. Sanchez, 2011. "Mortgage defaults," Working Paper 11-05, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
    4. Carlos Garriga & Finn E. Kydland & Roman Sustek, 2013. "Mortgages and Monetary Policy," NBER Working Papers 19744, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. John V. Duca & John Muellbauer & Anthony Murphy, 2011. "House Prices and Credit Constraints: Making Sense of the US Experience," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 121(552), pages 533-551, May.
    6. Bulent Guler, 2015. "Innovations in Information Technology and the Mortgage Market," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 18(3), pages 456-483, July.
    7. Nobuhiro Kiyotaki & Alexander Michaelides & Kalin Nikolov, 2011. "Winners and Losers in Housing Markets," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 43, pages 255-296, March.
    8. Matthew Chambers & Carlos Garriga & Don E. Schlagenhauf, 2009. "Accounting For Changes In The Homeownership Rate," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 50(3), pages 677-726, August.
    9. Satyajit Chatterjee & Burcu Eyigungor, 2015. "A Quantitative Analysis of the US Housing and Mortgage Markets and the Foreclosure Crisis," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 18(2), pages 165-184, April.
    10. Andra C. Ghent & Marianna Kudlyak, 2010. "Recourse and residential mortgage default: theory and evidence from U.S. states," Working Paper 09-10, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
    11. Satyajit Chatterjee & Dean Corbae & Makoto Nakajima & José-Víctor Ríos-Rull, 2007. "A Quantitative Theory of Unsecured Consumer Credit with Risk of Default," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 75(6), pages 1525-1589, November.
    12. Kyle F. Herkenhoff & Lee E. Ohanian, 2012. "Foreclosure delay and U.S. unemployment," Working Papers 2012-017, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
    13. Chatterjee, Satyajit & Eyigungor, Burcu, 2009. "Foreclosures and house price dynamics: a quantitative analysis of the mortgage crisis and the foreclosure prevention policy," Working Papers 09-22, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Florian MAYNERIS & Sandra PONCET & Tao ZHANG, 2014. "The cleansing effect of minimum wages Minimum wages, firm dynamics and aggregate productivity in China," Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) 2014015, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
    2. You, Jing & Wang, Shaoyang, 2016. "Unemployment Duration and Job-Match Quality in Urban China: The Dynamic Impact of 2008 Labor Contract Law," MPRA Paper 72767, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    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
    • J08 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - General - - - Labor Economics Policies
    • J2 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:19324. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.