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Transition with Labour Supply

  • Tito Boeri

The literature on the economics of transition has devoted little, if any, attention to labour supply. We show in this paper that, properly accounting for labour supply adjustments permit to understand some of the most puzzling features of transition, such as the output fall, the strikingly low workers' mobility associated with dramatic changes in the structure of employment, the presence of many job leavers as opposed to job losers, the frequency of direct shifts of workers from one job to another without intervening unemployment spells, and the role played by flows to inactivity in the dis-employment process. Our models show that transitional unemployment involves significant locking-in effects at the micro-level, and unemployment persistence at the aggregate level. It also suggests that, rather than starting with generous non-employment benefits and the subsequently cutting them down, as generally prescribed by the Optimal Speed of Transition literature and actually done by most countries of the region, the right sequence should have been the other way round. The paper sheds some light on other design features of unemployment benefits, suitable for economies undergoing rapid structural change.

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Paper provided by William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan in its series William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series with number 274.

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Length: pages
Date of creation: 01 Dec 1999
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wdi:papers:1999-274
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  1. Ratna Sahay & Carlos A. Végh Gramont & Stanley Fischer, 1998. "How Far Is Eastern Europe from Brussels?," IMF Working Papers 98/53, International Monetary Fund.
  2. Boeri, Tito & Flinn, Christopher J., 1999. "Returns to Mobility in the Transition to a Market Economy," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 4-32, March.
  3. van Ours, J.C. & Ridder, G., 1992. "Vacancies and recruitment of new employees," Other publications TiSEM 9acc708a-0885-46a2-aef5-7, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
  4. Philippe Aghion & Olivier J. Blanchard, 1994. "On the Speed of Transition in Central Europe," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1994, Volume 9, pages 283-330 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Rodrik, Dani, 1995. "The Dynamics of Political Support for Reform in Economies in Transition," CEPR Discussion Papers 1115, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Daniel Munich & Jan Svejnar & Katherine Terrell, 1998. "Worker-Firm Matching and Unemployment in Transition to a Market Economy: (Why) Were the Czechs More Successful than Others?," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 107, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
  7. Boeri, Tito & Scarpetta, Stefano, 1996. "Regional mismatch and the transition to a market economy," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(3), pages 233-254, October.
  8. Djankov, Simeon & Pohl, Gerhard, 1997. "The restructuring of large firms in Slovakia," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1758, The World Bank.
  9. Pietro Garibaldi & Zuzana Brixiova, 1998. "Labor Market Institutions and Unemployment Dynamics in Transition Economies," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 45(2), pages 269-308, June.
  10. T. Boeri & M. C. Burda, 1995. "Active Labor Market Policies, Job Matching and the Czech Miracle," SFB 373 Discussion Papers 1995,76, Humboldt University of Berlin, Interdisciplinary Research Project 373: Quantification and Simulation of Economic Processes.
  11. Antonio Spilimbergo & Eswar S Prasad & Paolo Mauro, 1999. "Perspectives on Regional Unemployment in Europe," IMF Occasional Papers 177, International Monetary Fund.
  12. Boeri, Tito, 1999. "Enforcement of employment security regulations, on-the-job search and unemployment duration," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 65-89, January.
  13. Campos, Nauro F, 2000. "Back to the Future: the Growth Prospects of Transition Economies Reconsidered," CEPR Discussion Papers 2654, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  14. M. Dewatripont & G. Roland, 1992. "Economic Reform and Dynamic Political Constraints," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 59(4), pages 703-730.
  15. Richard Jackman & C Pauna, 1997. "Labour market policy and the reallocation of labour across sectors," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 2047, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  16. van Ours, Jan & Ridder, Geert, 1992. "Vacancies and the Recruitment of New Employees," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 10(2), pages 138-55, April.
  17. Blanchard, Olivier Jean & Diamond, Peter, 1992. "The Flow Approach to Labor Markets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(2), pages 354-59, May.
  18. Simeon Djankov & Gerhard Pohl, 1997. "Restructuring of Large Firms in Slovakia," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 73, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
  19. Philippe Aghion & Olivier Jean Blanchard, 1994. "On the Speed of Transition Central Europe," NBER Working Papers 4736, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. Boeri, Tito, 1997. "Labour-Market Reforms in Transition Economies," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 13(2), pages 126-40, Summer.
  21. Tito Boeri, 1994. ""Transitional" unemployment," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 2(1), pages 1-25, 03.
  22. Schaffer, Mark E., 1998. "Do Firms in Transition Economies Have Soft Budget Constraints? A Reconsideration of Concepts and Evidence," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 80-103, March.
  23. Derek C. Jones & Takao Kato, 1998. "Chief Executive Compensation During Early Transition: Further Evidence from Bulgaria," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 146, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
  24. Fidrmuc, J., 1999. "The political economy of reforms in Central and Eastern Europe," Other publications TiSEM 637933e9-523a-4ad8-ba7d-2, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
  25. Burda, Michael C, 1992. "Unemployment, Labour Market Institutions and Structural Change in Eastern Europe," CEPR Discussion Papers 746, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  26. Richard Jackman & C Pauna, 1997. "Labour Market Policy and the Reallocation of Labour Across Sectors," CEP Discussion Papers dp0338, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  27. Wright, Randall, 1986. "The redistributive roles of unemployment insurance and the dynamics of voting," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 377-399, December.
  28. Blanchard, Olivier & Jimeno, Juan F, 1995. "Structural Unemployment: Spain versus Portugal," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(2), pages 212-18, May.
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