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Employment protection and unemployment benefits: On technology adoption and job creation in a matching model

We analyse the effects of different labour market policies - employment protection, unemployment benefits and payroll taxes - on job creation and technology choices in a model where firms are randomly matched with workers of different productivity and wages are determined by ex-post bargaining. In this setting, unemployment benefits are unambiguously detrimental both to job creation and technology adoption while the effects of employment protection are mixed, as higher firing costs stifle job creation but stimulate technology investments. This suggests that a 'flexicurity' policy, with low employment protection and high unemployment benefits, might have the adverse effect of slowing down technological progress and job growth. Indeed, our analysis of the optimal policy solution suggests that flexicurity is often not optimal, and may be optimal only in conjunction with payroll subsidies.

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File URL: http://www3.eeg.uminho.pt/economia/nipe/docs/2012/NIPE_WP_03_2012.pdf
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Paper provided by NIPE - Universidade do Minho in its series NIPE Working Papers with number 3/2012.

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Date of creation: 2012
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Handle: RePEc:nip:nipewp:03/2012
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Núcleo de Investigação em Políticas Económicas, Escola de Economia e Gestão, Universidade do Minho, P-4710-057 Braga, Portugal

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  1. Michele Belot & Jan Boone & Jan van Ours, 2004. "Welfare Improving Employment Protection," DEGIT Conference Papers c009_004, DEGIT, Dynamics, Economic Growth, and International Trade.
  2. B. Cockx & B. Van Der Linden, 2009. "Flexicurity in Belgium A Proposal Based on Economic Principles," Working Papers of Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Belgium 09/584, Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration.
  3. Hansen, Gary D & Imrohoroglu, Ayse, 1992. "The Role of Unemployment Insurance in an Economy with Liquidity Constraints and Moral Hazard," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(1), pages 118-42, February.
  4. Kjell Erik Lommerud & Frode Meland & Odd Rune Straume, 2010. "North-South Technology Transfer in Unionised Multinationals," CESifo Working Paper Series 3273, CESifo Group Munich.
  5. repec:oup:restud:v:76:y:2009:i:3:p:1049-1070 is not listed on IDEAS
  6. Tito Boeri & J. Ignacio Conde-Ruiz & Vincenzo Galasso, 2006. "The Political Economy of Flexicurity," Working Papers 2006-15, FEDEA.
  7. Pascal Michaillat & Emmanuel Saez & Camille Landais, 2011. "Optimal Unemployment Insurance over the Business Cycle," 2011 Meeting Papers 124, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  8. Marc Blatter & Samuel Muehlemann & Samuel Schenker, 2008. "The Costs of Hiring Skilled Workers," Economics of Education Working Paper Series 0015, University of Zurich, Institute for Strategy and Business Economics (ISU), revised Nov 2009.
  9. Manning, Alan, 1987. "An Integration of Trade Union Models in a Sequential Bargaining Framework," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 97(385), pages 121-39, March.
  10. Chetty, Raj, 2006. "A general formula for the optimal level of social insurance," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(10-11), pages 1879-1901, November.
  11. Kjell Lommerud & Frode Meland & Odd Rune Straume, 2004. "Globalisation And Union Opposition To Technological Change," Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2004 49, Royal Economic Society.
  12. Richard B. Freeman, 1995. "Are Your Wages Set in Beijing?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(3), pages 15-32, Summer.
  13. Karabay, Bilgehan & McLaren, John, 2011. "Pareto-improving firing costs?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 55(8), pages 1083-1093.
  14. Samuel Bentolila & Giuseppe Bertola, 1990. "Firing Costs and Labour Demand: How Bad is Eurosclerosis?," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 57(3), pages 381-402.
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  16. bertola, G. & Rogerson, R., 1996. "Institutions and Labor Reallocation," Papers 272, Banca Italia - Servizio di Studi.
  17. Dixit Avinash & Rob Rafael, 1994. "Switching Costs and Sectoral Adjustments in General Equilibrium with Uninsured Risk," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 62(1), pages 48-69, February.
  18. Hopenhayn, Hugo A & Nicolini, Juan Pablo, 1997. "Optimal Unemployment Insurance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(2), pages 412-38, April.
  19. Kreickemeier, Udo & Nelson, Douglas, 2006. "Fair wages, unemployment and technological change in a global economy," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(2), pages 451-469, December.
  20. Fernando Alvarez & Marcelo Veracierto, 1999. "Labor market policies in an equilibrium search model," Working Paper Series WP-99-10, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  21. Ulph, Alistair & Ulph, David, 1998. "Labour markets, bargaining and innovation," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 42(3-5), pages 931-939, May.
  22. Anesi, Vincent & De Donder, Philippe, 2009. "A Positive Theory of Unemployment Insurance and Employment Protection," CEPR Discussion Papers 7333, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  23. Baily, Martin Neil, 1978. "Some aspects of optimal unemployment insurance," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(3), pages 379-402, December.
  24. Camille Landais & Pascal Michaillat & Emmanuel Saez, 2010. "A Macroeconomic Theory of Optimal Unemployment Insurance," NBER Working Papers 16526, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  25. Pissarides, Christopher A., 2001. "Employment protection," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(2), pages 131-159, May.
  26. Edward P. Lazear, 1990. "Job Security Provisions and Employment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 105(3), pages 699-726.
  27. Giulio Piccirilli, 2010. "Job protection, industrial relations, and employment," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 62(4), pages 803-824, October.
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