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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. Olivier Jean Blanchard & Peter Diamond, 1992. "The Flow Approach to Labor Markets," NBER Working Papers 4000, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Philippe Aghion & Olivier Jean Blanchard, 1994. "On the Speed of Transition Central Europe," NBER Working Papers 4736, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Boeri, Tito & Burda, Michael C., 1996. "Active labor market policies, job matching and the Czech miracle," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(3-5), pages 805-817, April.
  7. Blanchard, Olivier Jean & Aghion, Philippe, 1994. "On the Speed of Transition in Central Europe," Scholarly Articles 4481322, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  8. 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.
  9. Daniel Munich & Jan Svejnar & Katherine Terrell, 1999. "Worker-firm Matching and Unemployment in Transition to a Market Economy: (Why) Are the Czechs More Successful than Others?," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp141, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economics Institute, Prague.
  10. 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.
  11. Tito Boeri & Christopher Flinn, 1997. "Returns to Mobility in the transition to a Market Economy," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 108, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
  12. Richard Jackman & C Pauna, 1997. "Labour Market Policy and the Reallocation of Labour Across Sectors," CEP Discussion Papers dp0338, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  13. Rodrik Dani, 1995. "The Dynamics of Political Suppport for Reform in Economies in Transition," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 9(4), pages 403-425, December.
  14. Boeri, Tito & Scarpetta, Stefano, 1996. "Regional mismatch and the transition to a market economy," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(3), pages 233-254, October.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. Boeri, Tito, 1997. "Labour-Market Reforms in Transition Economies," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 13(2), pages 126-40, Summer.
  18. Tito Boeri, 1994. ""Transitional" unemployment," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 2(1), pages 1-25, 03.
  19. Djankov, Simeon & Pohl, Gerhard, 1997. "The restructuring of large firms in Slovakia," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1758, The World Bank.
  20. 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.
  21. Ratna Sahay & Carlos A. Végh Gramont & Stanley Fischer, 1998. "How Far is Eastern Europe From Brussels?," IMF Working Papers 98/53, International Monetary Fund.
  22. repec:ner:tilbur:urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-80019 is not listed on IDEAS
  23. 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.
  24. Antonio Spilimbergo & Eswar Prasad & Paolo Mauro, 1999. "Perspectives on Regional Unemployment in Europe," IMF Occasional Papers 177, International Monetary Fund.
  25. 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.
  26. 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.
  27. Blanchard, Olivier & Jimeno, Juan F, 1995. "Structural Unemployment: Spain versus Portugal," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(2), pages 212-18, May.
  28. Burda, Michael C, 1992. "Unemployment, Labour Market Institutions and Structural Change in Eastern Europe," CEPR Discussion Papers 746, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  29. Dewatripont, M & Roland, G, 1992. "Economic Reform and Dynamic Political Constraints," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 59(4), pages 703-30, October.
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