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Job creation and labor reform in Latin America

  • Kaplan, David S.

This paper studies the effects of labor-regulation reform using data for 10,396 firms from 14 Latin American countries. Firms are asked both how many permanent workers they would have hired and how many they would have terminated if labor regulations were made more flexible. I find that making labor regulations more flexible would lead to an average net increase of 2.08 percent in total employment. Firms with fewer than 20 employees would benefit the most, with average gains in net employment of 4.27 percent. Countries with more regulated labor markets would experience larger gains in total employment. These larger gains in total employment, however, would be achieved through higher rates of hiring and higher rates of termination. These results may explain why there is substantial opposition to labor reforms despite the predicted gains in efficiency and total employment.

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Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 4708.

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Date of creation: 01 Sep 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:4708
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  1. John Haltiwanger & Stefano Scarpetta & Helena Schweiger, 2008. "Assessing Job Flows Across Countries: The Role of Industry, Firm Size and Regulations," NBER Working Papers 13920, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  3. Pierre, Gaelle & Scarpetta, Stefano, 2004. "Employment regulations through the eyes of employers - do they matter and how do firms respond to them?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3463, The World Bank.
  4. Carmen Pagés & James J. Heckman, 2000. "The Cost of Job Security Regulation: Evidence from Latin American Labor Markets," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 4119, Inter-American Development Bank.
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  6. Schneider, Friedrich G., 2007. "Shadow Economies and Corruption All Over the World: New Estimates for 145 Countries," Economics - The Open-Access, Open-Assessment E-Journal, Kiel Institute for the World Economy, vol. 1, pages 1-66.
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  10. Caballero, Ricardo J. & Cowan, Kevin N. & Engel, Eduardo M.R.A. & Micco, Alejandro, 2013. "Effective labor regulation and microeconomic flexibility," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 101(C), pages 92-104.
  11. 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.
  12. James J. Heckman & Carmen Pagés, 2004. "Introduction to "Law and Employment: Lessons from Latin American and the Caribbean"," NBER Chapters, in: Law and Employment: Lessons from Latin America and the Caribbean, pages 1-108 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Amin, Mohammad, 2009. "Labor regulation and employment in India's retail stores," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 47-61, March.
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  15. Jaime Saavedra-Chanduví & Máximo Torero, 2000. "Labor Market Reforms and Their Impact on Formal Labor Demand and Job Market Turnover: The Case of Peru," Research Department Publications 3095, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
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  17. Bosch, Mariano & Goni Pacchioni, Edwin & Maloney, William F., 2007. "The Determinants of Rising Informality in Brazil: Evidence from Gross Worker Flows," IZA Discussion Papers 2970, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  18. Marcela Eslava & John Haltiwanger & Adriana Kugler & Maurice Kugler, 2005. "Factor Adjustments After Deregulation: Panel Evidence from Colombian Plants," NBER Working Papers 11656, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  22. Louis S. Jacobson & Robert J. LaLonde & Daniel G. Sullivan, 1993. "Long-term earnings losses of high-seniority displaced workers," Economic Perspectives, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, issue Nov, pages 2-20.
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  24. Marianne Bertrand & Esther Duflo & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2004. "How Much Should We Trust Differences-in-Differences Estimates?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 119(1), pages 249-275, February.
  25. repec:oup:qjecon:v:119:y:2004:i:1:p:91-134 is not listed on IDEAS
  27. James Heckman & Carmen Pages, 2003. "Law and Employment: Lessons from Latin America and the Caribbean," NBER Working Papers 10129, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  28. David H. Autor & William R. Kerr & Adriana D. Kugler, 2007. "Does Employment Protection Reduce Productivity? Evidence From US States," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(521), pages 189-217, 06.
  29. Amin, Mohammad, 2008. "Labor regulation and employment in India's retail stores," Social Protection Discussion Papers 44492, The World Bank.
  30. Steven J. Davis & John Haltiwanger, 1990. "Gross Job Creation and Destruction: Microeconomic Evidence and Macroeconomic Implications," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1990, Volume 5, pages 123-186 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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