OECD Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers

ISSN :
1815-199X (online)
DOI :
10.1787/1815199x
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This series is designed to make available to a wider readership selected labour market, social policy and migration studies prepared for use within the OECD. Authorship is usually collective, but principal writers are named. The papers are generally available only in their original language - English or French - with a summary in the other.
 

Aggregate Earnings and Macroeconomic Shocks

The Role of Labour Market Policies and Institutions You or your institution have access to this content

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Author(s):
Andrea Bassanini1
Author Affiliations
  • 1: OECD, France

Publication Date
01 Sep 2011
Bibliographic information
No.:
123
Pages
49
DOI
10.1787/5kg58j99z8jc-en

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I examine the effect of labour market policies and institutions on the transmission of macroeconomic shocks to the labour market, using both aggregate and industry-level annual data for 23 OECD countries, 23 business-sector industries and up to 29 years. I find that high and progressive labour taxes and generous unemployment benefits amplify labour income fluctuations. By contrast, statutory minimum wages reduce the difference in the sensitivity of wages to aggregate shocks between low-wage and high-wage industries. Dismissal regulations are found to mitigate the impact of shocks on both earnings and employment. Moreover, this mitigation effect is greater in industries where firms have a greater propensity to make staffing changes through dismissals. Stringent dismissal regulations also appear to reduce the counter-cyclicality of the earnings dispersion between high and low-educated labour.