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Institutions and Wage Determination: a Multi-Country Approach

We present an empirical analysis of the determinants of labour cost in OECD countries, with particular reference to the impact of labour market institutions from 1960 to 1994. The main contribution of the paper is to show that labour market regulations can explain a large part of labour cost rise in OECD countries in the last decades once we control for productivity. These results are consistent with the findings of a companion paper (Nickell et al., 2001) where the effects of institutions on unemployment are examined. The model controls for macroeconomic shocks, and include the possibility of interactions among institutions. We present also a discussion of the potential problems encountered when estimating a macro pooled model like ours. We focus, among other things, on the hypothesis of poolability and on the cointegration properties of the model, suggesting a two way fixed effects specification in GLS form that corrects for heteroskedasticity and serial correlation. The explanatory power of the model is finally tested by means of a series of by country dynamic simulations.

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File URL: http://www.nuff.ox.ac.uk/Economics/papers/2001/w29/labour%20cost%20determination.pdf
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Paper provided by Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford in its series Economics Papers with number 2001-W29.

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Length: 33 pages
Date of creation: 07 Dec 2001
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:nuf:econwp:0129
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.nuff.ox.ac.uk/economics/

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  1. David G. Blanchflower & Andrew J. Oswald, 1989. "The Wage Curve," NBER Working Papers 3181, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    • Blanchflower, D. & Oswald, A., 1989. "The Wage Curve," Papers 340, London School of Economics - Centre for Labour Economics.
  2. Richard Layard & Stephen Nickell, 1998. "Labour Market Institutions and Economic Performance," CEP Discussion Papers dp0407, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  3. Lazear, Edward P, 1990. "Job Security Provisions and Employment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 105(3), pages 699-726, August.
  4. Daveri, Francesco & Tabellini, Guido, 1997. "Unemployment, Growth and Taxation in Industrial Countries," CEPR Discussion Papers 1681, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Boeri, Tito & Brugiavini, Agar & Calmfors, Lars (ed.), 2001. "The Role of Unions in the Twenty-first Century: A Report for the Fondazione Rodolfo Debenedetti," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199246588, March.
  6. Oswald Andrew J., 1996. "A Conjecture on the Explanation for High Unemployment in the Industrialized Nations : Part I," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 475, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  7. Booth, Alison L & Francesconi, Marco & Zoega, Gylfi, 1999. "Training, Rent-Sharing and Unions," CEPR Discussion Papers 2200, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Stephen Nickell, 1997. "Unemployment and Labor Market Rigidities: Europe versus North America," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(3), pages 55-74, Summer.
  9. Alesina, Alberto & Perotti, Roberto, 1997. "The Welfare State and Competitiveness," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(5), pages 921-39, December.
  10. Nickell, Stephen J, 1981. "Biases in Dynamic Models with Fixed Effects," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(6), pages 1417-26, November.
  11. Hausman, Jerry A, 1978. "Specification Tests in Econometrics," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(6), pages 1251-71, November.
  12. Baltagi, Badi H. & Li, Qi, 1995. "Testing AR(1) against MA(1) disturbances in an error component model," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 133-151, July.
  13. Judson, Ruth A. & Owen, Ann L., 1999. "Estimating dynamic panel data models: a guide for macroeconomists," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 9-15, October.
  14. Belot, Michèle & van Ours, Jan C, 2000. "Does the Recent Success of some OECD Countries in Lowering their Unemployment Rates lie in the Clever Design of their Labour Market Reforms?," CEPR Discussion Papers 2492, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  15. Nickell, Stephen, 1998. "Unemployment: Questions and Some Answers," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 108(448), pages 802-16, May.
  16. Perotti, Roberto & Alesina, Alberto, 1997. "The Welfare State and Competitiveness," Scholarly Articles 4553027, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  17. Pesaran, M. Hashem & Smith, Ron, 1995. "Estimating long-run relationships from dynamic heterogeneous panels," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 79-113, July.
  18. Bean, Charles R, 1994. "European Unemployment: A Survey," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 32(2), pages 573-619, June.
  19. McElroy, Marjorie B., 1977. "Weaker MSE criteria and tests for linear restrictions in regression models with non-spherical disturbances," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 6(3), pages 389-394, November.
  20. Olivier Blanchard & Justin Wolfers, 1999. "The Role of Shocks and Institutions in the Rise of European Unemployment: The Aggregate Evidence," NBER Working Papers 7282, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  21. Bean, C R & Layard, P R G & Nickell, S J, 1986. "The Rise in Unemployment: A Multi-country Study," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 53(210(S)), pages S1-22, Supplemen.
  22. MacKinnon, James G, 1992. "Model Specification Tests and Artificial Regressions," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 30(1), pages 102-46, March.
  23. Alogoskoufis, George & Manning, Alan, 1988. "Wage setting and unemployment persistence in Europe, Japan and the USA," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 32(2-3), pages 698-706, March.
  24. Maddala, G S & Wu, Shaowen, 1999. " A Comparative Study of Unit Root Tests with Panel Data and a New Simple Test," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 61(0), pages 631-52, Special I.
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