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Macroeconomic volatilities and the labor market: first results from the euro experiment

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  • Merkl, Christian
  • Schmitz, Tom

Abstract

This paper analyzes the effects of different labor market institutions on inflation and output volatility. The eurozone offers an unprecedented experiment for this exercise: since 1999, no national monetary policies have been implemented that could account for volatility differences across member states, but labor market characteristics have remained very diverse. We use a New Keynesian model with unemployment to predict the effects of different labor market institutions on macroeconomic volatilities. In our subsequent empirical estimations, we find that higher labor turnover costs have a statistically significant negative effect on output volatility, while replacement rates have a positive effect, both of which are in line with theory. Real wage rigidities do not seem to play much of a role. This result is in line with our employed labor market model, but stands in stark contrast to the search and matching model. While labor market institutions have a large effect on output volatility, they do not seem to have much of an effect on inflation volatility. Our estimations indicate that the latter is driven instead to a certain extent by differences in government spending volatility.

Suggested Citation

  • Merkl, Christian & Schmitz, Tom, 2009. "Macroeconomic volatilities and the labor market: first results from the euro experiment," Kiel Working Papers 1511, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:ifwkwp:1511
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    Cited by:

    1. Gnocchi, Stefano & Lagerborg, Andresa & Pappa, Evi, 2015. "Do labor market institutions matter for business cycles?," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 299-317.
    2. Abbritti, Mirko & Weber, Sebastian, 2010. "Labor market institutions and the business cycle Unemployment rigidities vs. real wage rigidities," Working Paper Series 1183, European Central Bank.
    3. Fabio Rumler & Johann Scharler, 2011. "Labor Market Institutions And Macroeconomic Volatility In A Panel Of Oecd Countries," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 58(3), pages 396-413, July.
    4. Tim Schwarzmüller & Nikolai Stähler, 2013. "Reforming the labor market and improving competitiveness: an analysis for Spain using FiMod," SERIEs: Journal of the Spanish Economic Association, Springer;Spanish Economic Association, vol. 4(4), pages 437-471, November.
    5. Ester Faia & Wolfgang Lechthaler & Christian Merkl, 2014. "Labor Selection, Turnover Costs, and Optimal Monetary Policy," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 46(1), pages 115-144, February.
    6. Bartels, Bernhard, 2009. "The monetary transmission mechanism in the euro area: A VAR-analysis for Austria and Germany," Kiel Advanced Studies Working Papers 452, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    7. Gartner, Hermann & Merkl, Christian & Rothe, Thomas, 2012. "Sclerosis and large volatilities: Two sides of the same coin," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 117(1), pages 106-109.
    8. CAMILLI, Andrea; LAGERBORG, Andresa, 2017. "Do Labor Market Institutions Matter for Fertility?," Economics Working Papers ECO 2017/07, European University Institute.
    9. Fabrizio Mattesini & Lorenza Rossi, 2012. "Monetary Policy and Automatic Stabilizers: The Role of Progressive Taxation," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 44(5), pages 825-862, August.
    10. Campolmi, Alessia & Faia, Ester, 2011. "Labor market institutions and inflation volatility in the euro area," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 35(5), pages 793-812, May.
    11. Lochner, Benjamin, 2014. "Employment protection in dual labor markets: Any amplification of macroeconomic shocks?," FAU Discussion Papers in Economics 14/2014, Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Institute for Economics.
    12. Merkl, Christian, 2009. "The inflation-output tradeoff: which type of labor market rigidity is to be blamed?," Kiel Working Papers 1495, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Labor market institutions; macroeconomic volatility; monetary policy; firing costs; unemployment benefits; replacement rate;

    JEL classification:

    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search

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