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Permanent uncertainty, employment protection, and firms'location

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  • Sophie Lecostey

    (University of Caen Basse-Normandie - CREM UMR CNRS 6211)

Abstract

It is often argued that firms need flexibility in order to better face demand uncertainty. As employment protection legislation (EPL) impacts the cost of volume adjustments available to firms, it constrains the volume flexibility that they can achieve. Weakening EPL might thus be thought of as a desirable policy, in particular for when firms are deciding where to locate. On the other hand, it is well known that in an oligopolistic setting, flexibility is not necessarily an advantage. The aim of this paper is to analyze the consequences that different EPL regimes may have on firms' location decisions. It shows that the country characterized by the strongest EPL can nevertheless attract firms under demand uncertainty (either in an agglomeration equilibrium, or in a dispersion equilibrium), and highlights the respective and combined roles played by trade costs and strategic interaction. Moreover, it shows that if firms compete in prices, they will never agglomerate in the country with the lowest EPL.

Suggested Citation

  • Sophie Lecostey, 2012. "Permanent uncertainty, employment protection, and firms'location," Economics Working Paper Archive (University of Rennes 1 & University of Caen) 201240, Center for Research in Economics and Management (CREM), University of Rennes 1, University of Caen and CNRS.
  • Handle: RePEc:tut:cremwp:201240
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    File URL: https://crem-doc.univ-rennes1.fr/wp/2012/201240.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Brander, James & Krugman, Paul, 1983. "A 'reciprocal dumping' model of international trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(3-4), pages 313-321, November.
    2. Gerda Dewit & Holger Görg & Catia Montagna, 2009. "Should I stay or should I go? Foreign direct investment, employment protection and domestic anchorage," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 145(1), pages 93-110, April.
    3. Dewit, Gerda & Leahy, Dermot & Montagna, Catia, 2012. "Employment Protection, Flexibility and Firms’ Strategic Location Decisions under Uncertainty," SIRE Discussion Papers 2012-24, Scottish Institute for Research in Economics (SIRE).
    4. Haufler, Andreas & Wooton, Ian, 2010. "Competition for firms in an oligopolistic industry: The impact of economic integration," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 80(2), pages 239-248, March.
    5. Gerda Dewit & Dermot Leahy & Catia Montagna, 2003. "Employment Protection and Globalisation in Dynamic Oligopoly," Dundee Discussion Papers in Economics 137, Economic Studies, University of Dundee.
    6. Jan I. Haaland & Ian Wooton & Giulia Faggio, 2002. "Multinational Firms: Easy Come, Easy Go?," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 59(1), pages 1-3, February.
    7. Giovanni Maggi, 1996. "Endogenous Leadership in a New Market," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 27(4), pages 641-659, Winter.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    oligopoly; strategic behavior; commitment; flexibility; employment protection; trade costs; firms'location;

    JEL classification:

    • F12 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Models of Trade with Imperfect Competition and Scale Economies; Fragmentation
    • F16 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade and Labor Market Interactions
    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets

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