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Catastrophic Job destruction

  • Anabela Carneiro
  • Pedro Portugal
  • José Varejão

In this article we study the resilience of the Portuguese labor market, in terms of job flows, employment and wage developments, in the context of the current recession. We single out the huge contribution of job destruction, especially due to the closing of existing firms, to the dramatic decline of total employment and increase of the unemployment rate. We also document the very large increase in the incidence of minimum wage earners and nominal wage freezes. We explore three different channels that may have amplified the employment response to the great recession: the credit channel, the wage rigidity channel, and the labor market segmentation channel. We uncover what we believe is convincing evidence that the severity of credit constraints played a significant role in the current job destruction process. Wage rigidity is seen to be associated with lower net job creation and higher failure rates of firms. Finally, labor market segmentation seems to have favored a stronger job destruction that was facilitated by an increasing number of temporary workers.

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Paper provided by Banco de Portugal, Economics and Research Department in its series Working Papers with number w201314.

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Date of creation: 2013
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Handle: RePEc:ptu:wpaper:w201314
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  1. Michael Elsby & Bart Hobijn & Aysegül Sahin, 2009. "Unemployment dynamics in the OECD," Working Paper Series 2009-04, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  2. Addison, John T. & Portugal, Pedro, 2008. "How do different entitlements to unemployment benefits affect the transitions from unemployment into employment?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 101(3), pages 206-209, December.
  3. Samuel Bentolila & Pierre Cahuc & Juan J. Dolado & Thomas Le Barbanchon, 2012. "Two‐Tier Labour Markets in the Great Recession: France Versus Spain-super-," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 122(562), pages F155-F187, 08.
  4. Álvaro Pina & Ildeberta Abreu, 2012. "Portugal: Rebalancing the Economy and Returning to Growth Through Job Creation and Better Capital Allocation," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 994, OECD Publishing.
  5. Pedro Portugal & Anabela Carneiro & Paulo Guimarães, 2010. "On the cyclical sensitivity of real wages," Economic Bulletin and Financial Stability Report Articles, Banco de Portugal, Economics and Research Department.
  6. Steven J. Davis & R. Jason Faberman & John Haltiwanger, 2006. "The Flow Approach to Labor Markets: New Data Sources and Micro-Macro Links," NBER Working Papers 12167, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Lars Ljungqvist & Thomas J. Sargent, 1995. "The European unemployment dilemma," Working Paper Series, Macroeconomic Issues 95-17, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  8. Anabela Carneiro & Paulo Guimar�es & Pedro Portugal, 2012. "Real Wages and the Business Cycle: Accounting for Worker, Firm, and Job Title Heterogeneity," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 4(2), pages 133-52, April.
  9. Olivier J. Blanchard & Daniel Leigh, 2013. "Growth Forecast Errors and Fiscal Multipliers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(3), pages 117-20, May.
  10. Pedro Portugal & Olivier Blanchard, 2001. "What Hides Behind an Unemployment Rate: Comparing Portuguese and U.S. Labor Markets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(1), pages 187-207, March.
  11. Grégory Jolivet & Fabien Postel-Vinay & Jean-Marc Robin, 2006. "The empirical content of the job search model: Labor mobility and wage distributions in Europe and the US," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) hal-00279066, HAL.
  12. Olivier J. Blanchard & Lawrence H. Summers, 1986. "Hysteresis and the European Unemployment Problem," NBER Working Papers 1950, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Addison, John T. & Centeno, Mario & Portugal, Pedro, 2008. "Do Reservation Wages Really Decline? Some International Evidence on the Determinants of Reservation Wages," IZA Discussion Papers 3289, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  14. Grégory Jolivet & Fabien Postel-Vinay & Jean-Marc Robin, 2006. "The Empirical Content of the Job Search Model: Labor Mobility and Wage Distributions in Europe and the U.S," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) hal-00308803, HAL.
  15. Jolivet, Gregory & Postel-Vinay, Fabien & Robin, Jean-Marc, 2006. "The empirical content of the job search model: Labor mobility and wage distributions in Europe and the US," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 50(4), pages 877-907, May.
  16. Ana Rute Cardoso & Pedro Portugal, 2005. "Contractual Wages and the Wage Cushion under Different Bargaining Settings," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 23(4), pages 875-902, October.
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