رقابت در بازار محصول، سرمایه گذاری و اشتغال فراوان در مقابل رشد کار ضعیف : چشم انداز گزینه های واقعی
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : European Journal of Political Economy, Volume 24, Issue 1, March 2008, Pages 218–238
The role of product market reforms in achieving the objective of higher employment and growth has recently received much attention amongst academics. The aim of this paper is to analyse some of the channels through which cross-market effects come about and to assess their policy relevance. The analytic strategy of this paper relies upon the stochastic real options modelling approach. In a nutshell, our simulations using numerical methods indicate that comprehensive product market reforms would increase factor demand and growth significantly in the medium and long run.
This paper contributes to the growing literature which aims to link barriers to competition on product markets and factor demand. The recent decline in economic growth in some European countries has intensified the debate surrounding the question of the extent to which the inertia of highly regulated labour and product markets has a negative impact on the creation of jobs and unemployment. Since the timing of UK and US product market deregulation, which began in the late 1970s, fits neatly into the picture of diverging labour market performance dating back to the 1980s, the regulatory product market environment is a smoking gun of sorts for divergent labour market performances across countries [see, e.g., Blanchard and Tirole (2004) and Nickell et al. (2005)]. In recent years the OECD has produced an internationally-comparable set of indicators that measure the degree to which policies promote or inhibit employment and competition in various areas of the product market.1 A broad range of policies and institutional arrangements have influenced these differences. Using a multidimensional clustering approach, Boeri et al. (2000) have grouped the OECD countries into various clusters of institutional rigidities according to the degree of labour and product market regulation. They have identified four groups: (a) countries which combine tight regulation in both labour and product markets (France, Italy, Greece and Spain); (b) continental European countries with relatively restrictive product market regulation but with different employment protection legislation (Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, Finland and Portugal being more restrictive than Belgium and Denmark); (c) common law countries characterised by a relatively liberal approach in both labour and product markets (US, UK, Canada, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand), and (d) Sweden, which together with Japan, combines relatively restrictive labour market regulation with relatively few product market restrictions.2 All this is by way of prologue. A proper discussion of the effects that changing product market competition brings to the rest of the economy demands that policy oriented debate is placed within the context of economic theory. Once one moves away from the idea of a simple world where firms have perfect foresight, additional linkages and further questions suggest themselves. In particular, in an uncertain environment barriers to competition may affect not only the level of investment/hiring but also the timing of investment/hiring. Hence we contribute to the literature by taking the route of a real options modelling framework to shed more light on the regulation — factor demand nexus.3 Against this background, the remainder of the paper is structured as follows: Section 2 sets out the theoretical model. Section 3 focuses on our main research question – posed in the title of the paper – namely, how much of the labour-abundant versus job-poor growth experiences can barriers to competition explain? Some concluding remarks are offered in Section 4. Two appendices at the end of the paper collect some proofs and technical derivations which are rather involved. Readers who are not interested in the nuts and bolts of the derivations, can skip the appendices without losing the main argument of the paper.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
There is growing belief that the relatively poorer performance of some European countries – as compared to the U.S. – in terms of growth and employment during the last decade can be at least partially explained by the interaction of product and factor markets. This paper is an attempt at providing a unifying modelling framework that makes explicit and clarifies thinking on the inter-linkages between regulation, investment and employment.23 The simulation exercises show that the intensity of product market competition variable in tandem with hiring and firing costs is an important driver of employment and growth. An important implication of our model is that product market deregulation may be very effective in terms of increasing factor demand, i.e. there exist sizable interaction effects and reform spillovers. Another conclusion is that the impact of any one policy measure with a clever design is greater if it is pushed through in tandem with other reforms than if it is implemented in isolation. This is by no means the last word on the causes of Europe's unemployment. But the lessons are very clear indeed. Streamlining product market regulation is likely to be beneficial for employment and growth and would therefore support the policy objectives established within the Lisbon agenda of the EU. The simulation results also indicate that product market reforms help to make labour market reforms more acceptable for unions.24 Before ending, we should note one important caveat of our approach. Our objective is limited to studying the factor demand implications of product-market regulation. It is not our purpose to evaluate the impact of regulation on social goals that could be beyond the strict sphere of employment and economic growth. Thus, our conclusions on the impact of regulation should be evaluated in a more comprehensive context before drawing welfare implications.