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Julián Messina

1 March 2003
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 217
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Abstract
The sectoral allocation of labor differs considerably across developed economies, even in the presence of similar patterns of structural change. A general equilibrium model that captures the stylized facts of structural change is presented. In this framework, product market regulations raise barriers to entry that hinder the development of sectors with income elastic demand such as service industries. Thus, the paper suggests that differences in the regulations of product markets might help explaining cross-country differences in the sectoral allocation of employment. Cross-country evidence discussed in the paper shows that this proposition is supported by the data for a sample of OECD countries. Additionally, the model shows that higher service prices and rents in regulated economies reduce labor supply, providing a rationale for the negative association between product market regulations and the employment rate previously found in the literature.
JEL Code
O11 : Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth→Economic Development→Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
O41 : Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth→Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity→One, Two, and Multisector Growth Models
L5 : Industrial Organization→Regulation and Industrial Policy
17 March 2004
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 320
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Abstract
We live in a service economy, but the extent of development of service employment differs across developed countries. This paper assesses the role of structural factors and institutions in explaining the common patterns and main differences in the recent expansion of service employment in OECD countries. It finds that GDP per capita, the size of the government sector and the extent of urbanization are positively associated with the service employment share. However, the evidence suggests that laws and institutions such as product market regulations, unions and more coordinated wage-setting systems are hampering the expansion of service employment.
JEL Code
J21 : Labor and Demographic Economics→Demand and Supply of Labor→Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure
L80 : Industrial Organization→Industry Studies: Services→General
L51 : Industrial Organization→Regulation and Industrial Policy→Economics of Regulation
17 March 2004
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 318
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Abstract
We examine job flows in the 1990s for a sample of 13 European countries. By using a dataset of continuing firms that covers all sectors, we find firm characteristics to be important determinants of job flows, with smaller and younger firms within services typically having a larger degree of job turnover. Once controlled for firm and sectoral effects, the role of institutions in the dynamics of job creation and destruction is examined. As expected, employment protection is found to reduce job flows. Similarly, countries with higher unemployment benefits and more coordinated wage bargaining systems are characterised by lower job flows.
JEL Code
J23 : Labor and Demographic Economics→Demand and Supply of Labor→Labor Demand
J60 : Labor and Demographic Economics→Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers→General
7 February 2006
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 585
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Abstract
We argue that the existence of large amounts of specific human capital makes costly and slows down the adjustment in the labor market after large reallocation shocks. To illustrate this point we build a theoretical framework in which young agents’ career is heavily determined by initial education, and analyze the transition to a new steady-state after a sectoral demand shift. An interesting case study is the EU enlargement, which led to modernization of many sectors in eastern countries and to a fast decline of traditional industries. Using labor force data from a large economy with rigid labor markets, Poland, and a small open economy with increased flexibility, Estonia, we document and find support for our claim. Quantitative exercises suggest that the overspecializaton of the labor force in Poland explain to a large extent the much higher and persistent unemployment compared to Estonia during the period of EU enlargement.
JEL Code
J30 : Labor and Demographic Economics→Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs→General
20 April 2006
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 602
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Abstract
We exploit homogeneous firm level data of manufacturing and non-manufacturing sectors to study the impact of firing restrictions on job flow dynamics across 14 European countries. We find that more stringent firing laws dampen the response of job destruction to the cycle, thus making job turnover less counter-cyclical. Moreover, the impact of firing costs on job creation and job destruction varies across sectors, depending on sector-specific trend growth. Our findings clearly suggest that such costs are more important in contracting than in growing sectors.
JEL Code
J23 : Labor and Demographic Economics→Demand and Supply of Labor→Labor Demand
J63 : Labor and Demographic Economics→Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers→Turnover, Vacancies, Layoffs
J68 : Labor and Demographic Economics→Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers→Public Policy
17 November 2006
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 697
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Abstract
How do the complex institutions involved in wage setting affect wage changes? The International Wage Flexibility Project provides new microeconomic evidence on how wages change for continuing workers. We analyze individuals' earnings in 31 different data sets from sixteen countries, from which we obtain a total of 360 wage change distributions. We find a remarkable amount of variation in wage changes across workers. Wage changes have a notably non-normal distribution; they are tightly clustered around the median and also have many extreme values. Furthermore, nearly all countries show asymmetry in their wage distributions below the median. Indeed, we find evidence of both downward nominal and real wage rigidities. We also find that the extent of both these rigidities varies substantially across countries. Our results suggest that variations in the extent of union presence in wage bargaining play a role in explaining differing degrees of rigidities among countries.
JEL Code
E3 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles
J3 : Labor and Demographic Economics→Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs
J5 : Labor and Demographic Economics→Labor?Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining
19 February 2009
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 1003
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Abstract
We study differences in the adjustment of aggregate real wages in the manufacturing sector over the business cycle across OECD countries, combining results from different data and dynamic methods. Summary measures of cyclicality show genuine cross-country heterogeneity even after controlling for the impact of data and methods. We find that more open economies and countries with stronger unions tend to have less pro-cyclical (or more counter-cyclical) wages. We also find a positive correlation between the cyclicality of real wages and employment, suggesting that policy complementarities may influence the adjustment of both quantities and prices in the labour market.
JEL Code
E32 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles→Business Fluctuations, Cycles
J30 : Labor and Demographic Economics→Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs→General
C10 : Mathematical and Quantitative Methods→Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General→General
Network
Wage dynamics network
28 April 2009
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 1048
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Abstract
This paper examines the impact of downward wage rigidity (nominal and real) on optimal steady-state inflation. For this purpose, we extend the workhorse model of Erceg, Henderson and Levin (2000) by introducing asymmetric menu costs for wage setting. We estimate the key parameters by simulated method of moments, matching key features of the cross-sectional distribution of individual wage changes observed in the data. We look at five countries (the US, Germany, Portugal, Belgium and Finland). The calibrated heterogeneous agent models are then solved for different steady state rates of inflation to derive welfare implications. We find that, across the European countries considered, the optimal steady-state rate of inflation varies between zero and 2%. For the US, the results depend on the dataset used, with estimates of optimal inflation varying between 2% and 5%.
JEL Code
E31 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles→Price Level, Inflation, Deflation
E52 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit→Monetary Policy
J4 : Labor and Demographic Economics→Particular Labor Markets
Network
Wage dynamics network
12 November 2009
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 1106
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Abstract
Firms have multiple options at the time of adjusting their wage bills. However, previous literature has mainly focused on base wages. We broaden the analysis beyond downward rigidity in base wages by investigating the use of other margins of labour cost adjustment at the firm level. Using data from a unique survey, we find that firms make frequent use of other, more flexible, components of compensation to adjust the cost of labour. Changes in bonuses and non-pay benefits are some of the potential margins firms use to reduce costs. We also show how the margins of adjustment chosen are affected by firm and worker characteristics.
JEL Code
J30 : Labor and Demographic Economics→Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs→General
C81 : Mathematical and Quantitative Methods→Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology, Computer Programs→Methodology for Collecting, Estimating, and Organizing Microeconomic Data, Data Access
P5 : Economic Systems→Comparative Economic Systems
Network
Wage dynamics network
12 November 2009
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 1105
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Abstract
It has been well established that the wages of individual workers react little, especially downwards, to shocks that hit their employer. This paper presents new evidence from a unique survey of firms across Europe on the prevalence of downward wage rigidity in both real and nominal terms. We analyse which firm-level and institutional factors are associated with wage rigidity. Our results indicate that it is related to workforce composition at the establishment level in a manner that is consistent with related theoretical models (e.g. efficiency wage theory, insider-outsider theory). We also find that wage rigidity depends on the labour market institutional environment. Collective bargaining coverage is positively related with downward real wage rigidity, measured on the basis of wage indexation. Downward nominal wage rigidity is positively associated with the extent of permanent contracts and this effect is stronger in countries with stricter employment protection regulations.
JEL Code
J30 : Labor and Demographic Economics→Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs→General
J31 : Labor and Demographic Economics→Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs→Wage Level and Structure, Wage Differentials
J32 : Labor and Demographic Economics→Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs→Nonwage Labor Costs and Benefits, Retirement Plans, Private Pensions
C81 : Mathematical and Quantitative Methods→Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology, Computer Programs→Methodology for Collecting, Estimating, and Organizing Microeconomic Data, Data Access
P5 : Economic Systems→Comparative Economic Systems
Network
Wage dynamics network
25 June 2010
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 1215
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Abstract
This paper studies the incidence and consequences of the mismatch between formal education and the educational requirements of jobs in Estonia during the years 1997-2003. We find large wage penalties associated with the phenomenon of educational mismatch. Moreover, the incidence and wage penalty of mismatches increase with age. This suggests that structural educational mismatches can occur after fast transition periods. Our results are robust for various methodologies, and more importantly regarding departures from the exogeneity assumptions inherent in the matching estimators used in our analysis.
JEL Code
J0 : Labor and Demographic Economics→General
25 June 2010
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 1213
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Abstract
This paper presents estimates based on individual data of downward nominal and real wage rigidities for thirteen sectors in Belgium, Denmark, Spain and Portugal. Our methodology follows the approach recently developed for the International Wage Flexibility Project, whereby resistance to nominal and real wage cuts is measured through departures of observed individual wage change histograms from an estimated counter factual wage change distribution that would have prevailed in the absence of rigidity. We evaluate the role of worker and firm characteristics in shaping wage rigidities. We also confront our estimates of wage rigidities to structural features of the labour markets studied, such as the wage bargaining level, variable pay policy and the degree of product market competition. We find that the use of firm-level collective agreements in countries with rather centralized wage formation reduces the degree of real wage rigidity. This finding suggests that some degree of decentralization within highly centralized countries allows firms to adjust wages downwards, when business conditions turn bad.
JEL Code
J31 : Labor and Demographic Economics→Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs→Wage Level and Structure, Wage Differentials
Network
Wage dynamics network
7 April 2015
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 1778
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Abstract
This paper exploits a unique cross-country, firm-level survey to study the responses of European firms to the sharp demand and credit contraction triggered by the global Great Recession of 2009. The analysis reveals that cost reduction
JEL Code
J30 : Labor and Demographic Economics→Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs→General
J32 : Labor and Demographic Economics→Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs→Nonwage Labor Costs and Benefits, Retirement Plans, Private Pensions
J33 : Labor and Demographic Economics→Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs→Compensation Packages, Payment Methods
J51 : Labor and Demographic Economics→Labor?Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining→Trade Unions: Objectives, Structure, and Effects