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Trade and the (Dis) Incentive to Reform Labor Markets: The Case of Reform in the European Union

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  • George Alessandria
  • Alain Delacroix

Abstract

In a closed economy general equilibrium model, Hopenhayn and Rogerson (1993) find large welfare gains to removing firing restrictions. We explore the extent to which international trade alters this result. When economies trade, labor market policies in one country spill over to other countries through a change in the terms of trade. This reduces the incentive to reform labor markets. In a policy game over firing taxes between countries, we find that countries optimally choose positive levels of firing taxes. A coordinated elimination of firing taxes yields considerable benefits. This insight provides some explanation for recent efforts toward labor market reform in the European Union

Suggested Citation

  • George Alessandria & Alain Delacroix, 2004. "Trade and the (Dis) Incentive to Reform Labor Markets: The Case of Reform in the European Union," 2004 Meeting Papers 460, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  • Handle: RePEc:red:sed004:460
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    1. Matteo Cacciatore & Giuseppe Fiori, 2016. "The Macroeconomic Effects of Goods and Labor Marlet Deregulation," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 20, pages 1-24, April.
    2. Alain Delacroix & Etienne Wasmer, 2009. "Layoff Costs and Efficiency with Asymmetric Information," Working Papers hal-00972915, HAL.
    3. Cacciatore, Matteo & Fiori, Giuseppe & Ghironi, Fabio, 2016. "Market deregulation and optimal monetary policy in a monetary union," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 99(C), pages 120-137.
    4. Matteo Cacciatore & Romain Duval & Giuseppe Fiori & Fabio Ghironi, 2021. "Market Reforms at the Zero Lower Bound," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 53(4), pages 745-777, June.
    5. Busl, Claudia & Seymen, Atılım, 2013. "The German labour market reforms in a European context: A DSGE analysis," ZEW Discussion Papers 13-097, ZEW - Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research.
    6. Gabriel J. Felbermayr & Mario Larch & Wolfgang Lechthaler, 2015. "Labour‐market institutions and their impact on trade partners: A quantitative analysis," Canadian Journal of Economics/Revue canadienne d'économique, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 48(5), pages 1917-1943, December.
    7. Alessandria, George & Delacroix, Alain, 2008. "Trade and the (dis)incentive to reform labor markets: The case of reform in the European Union," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 75(1), pages 151-166, May.
    8. Alain Delacroix & Etienne Wasmer, 2007. "Job and Workers Flows in Europe and the US: Specific Skills or Employment Protection?," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/9938, Sciences Po.
    9. Yuan Tian, 2020. "International trade liberalization and domestic institutional reform: Effects of WTO accession on Chinese internal migration policy," Discussion Papers 2020-17, University of Nottingham, GEP.
    10. Davoine, Thomas & Molnar, Matthias, 2020. "Cross-country fiscal policy spillovers and capital-skill complementarity in integrated capital markets," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 88(C), pages 132-150.
    11. Wolf-Heimo Grieben & Fuat Sener, 2009. "Labor Unions, Globalization, and Mercantilism," CESifo Working Paper Series 2889, CESifo.
    12. Elhanan Helpman & Oleg Itskhoki, 2010. "Labour Market Rigidities, Trade and Unemployment," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 77(3), pages 1100-1137.
    13. Povilas Lastauskas & Julius Stakėnas, 2020. "Labour market institutions in open economy: Sectoral reallocations, aggregate adjustments, and spillovers," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 28(3), pages 814-845, August.
    14. Povilas Lastauskas & Julius Stakenas, 2019. "Does It Matter When Labor Market Reforms Are Implemented? The Role of the Monetary Policy Environment," Bank of Lithuania Working Paper Series 66, Bank of Lithuania.
    15. Dao, Mai Chi, 2013. "Foreign labor costs and domestic employment: What are the spillovers?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(1), pages 154-171.
    16. International Monetary Fund, 2006. "Belgium: Selected Issues," IMF Staff Country Reports 2006/076, International Monetary Fund.
    17. Rahul Anand & Purva Khera, 2016. "Macroeconomic Impact of Product and Labor Market Reforms on Informality and Unemployment in India," IMF Working Papers 2016/047, International Monetary Fund.
    18. Lastauskas, Povilas & Stakenas, Julius, 2018. "Structural labour market reforms in the EU-15: Single-country vs. coordinated counterfactuals," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 88-99.
    19. Povilas Lastauskas & Julius Stakenas, 2016. "Labour Market Institutions in Open Economy," Bank of Lithuania Working Paper Series 33, Bank of Lithuania.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Labor Market Reform; Trade;

    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
    • F16 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade and Labor Market Interactions
    • F42 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - International Policy Coordination and Transmission

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