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The Missing Link: Product Market Regulation, Collective Bargaining and the European Unemployment Puzzle

  • Christian Haefke
  • Monique Ebell

We examine product market regulation as an explanation for divergent US and continental European labor market performance. First, we show that the choice of bargaining regime is crucial for the effect of product market competition on unemployment rates, being substantial under collective and negligible under individual bargaining. Since the choice of bargaining institution is important, we endogenize it. When product market competition is low, collective bargaining emerges endogenously, while individual bargaining emerges under higher competition. In the calibrated model, we find that increasing entry costs from US to European levels causes equilibrium unemployment rates to increase from 5.5% to 8.3%. Our results also suggest that the strong decline in collective bargaining coverage and unionization in the US and UK over the last two decades might have been a direct consequence of the Reagen/Thatcher product market reforms of the early 80's

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Paper provided by Society for Economic Dynamics in its series 2004 Meeting Papers with number 759.

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Date of creation: 2004
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Handle: RePEc:red:sed004:759
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  13. Cahuc, Pierre & Gianella, Christian & Goux, Dominique & Zylberberg, Andre, 2002. "Equalizing Wage Differences and Bargaining Power: Evidence from a Panel of French Firms," IZA Discussion Papers 582, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  14. Wouter J. den Haan & Garey Ramey & Joel Watson, 1997. "Job Destruction and Propagation of Shocks," NBER Working Papers 6275, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Jo Seldeslachts, 2002. "Interactions Between Product and Labour Market Reforms," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 519.02, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
  16. Christopher A. Pissarides, 2000. "Equilibrium Unemployment Theory, 2nd Edition," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262161877, June.
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