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Evaluating Labor Market Reforms: A General Equilibrium Approach

Author

Listed:
  • César Alonso-Borrego

    () (Department of Economics,Universidad Carlos III de Madrid)

  • Jesús Fernández-Villaverde

    () (Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania)

  • José E. Galdón-Sánchez

    () (Department of Economics,Universidad Publica de Navarra)

Abstract

Job security provisions are commonly invoked to explain the high and persistent European unemployment rates. This belief has led several countries to reform their labor markets and liberalize the use of fixed-term contracts. Despite how common such contracts have become after deregulation, there is a lack of quantitative analysis of their impact on the economy. To fill this gap, we build a general equilibrium model with heterogeneous agents and firing costs in the tradition of Hopenhayn and Rogerson (1993). We calibrate our model to Spanish data, choosing in part parameters estimated with firm-level longitudinal data. Spain is particularly interesting, since its labor regulations are among the most protective in the OECD, and both its unemployment and its share of fixed-term employment are the highest. We find that fixed term contracts increase unemployment, reduce output, and raise productivity. The welfare effects are ambiguous.

Suggested Citation

  • César Alonso-Borrego & Jesús Fernández-Villaverde & José E. Galdón-Sánchez, 2004. "Evaluating Labor Market Reforms: A General Equilibrium Approach," PIER Working Paper Archive 04-016, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
  • Handle: RePEc:pen:papers:04-016
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Fixed-term contracts; Firing costs; General equilibrium; Heterogeneous agents;
    All these keywords.

    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
    • C68 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Computable General Equilibrium Models
    • J30 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - General

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