NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Labor Market Institutions and Demographic Employment Patterns

Giuseppe Bertola, Francine D. Blau, Lawrence M. Kahn

NBER Working Paper No. 9043
Issued in July 2002
NBER Program(s):   LS

Using data from 17 OECD countries over the 1960-96 period, we investigate the impact of institutions on the relative employment of youth, women, and older individuals. Theoretically, we show that labor market institutions meant to improve workers' income share imply larger disemployment effects for groups whose labor supply is more elastic. Using an empirical model that allows us to control for unmeasured country-specific factors that affect relative employment and unemployment, we find that, for both men and women, more extensive involvement of unions in wage-setting significantly decreases the employment rate of young and older individuals relative to the prime-aged, with no significant effects on the relative unemployment of these groups. In contrast, a larger role for unions has insignificant effects on male-female employment differentials, but raises female unemployment relative to male unemployment. These results suggest that union wage-setting policies price the young and elderly out of employment and drive disemployed individuals in these groups to non-labor-force (education, retirement) states. A possible scenario for women is that high union wages encourage female labor force participation, but that women who would otherwise be disemployed by high wage floors are able to find work in unregulated sectors or are absorbed by public employment.

download in pdf format
   (434 K)

email paper

A non-technical summary of this paper is available in the December 2002 NBER digest.  You can sign up to receive the NBER Digest by email.

This paper is available as PDF (434 K) or via email.

Machine-readable bibliographic record - MARC, RIS, BibTeX

Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w9043

Published: Giuseppe Bertola & Francine Blau & Lawrence Kahn, 2007. "Labor market institutions and demographic employment patterns," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 20(4), pages 833-867, October. citation courtesy of

Users who downloaded this paper also downloaded these:
Bertola, Blau, and Kahn w8526 Comparative Analysis of Labor Market Outcomes: Lessons for the US from International Long-Run Evidence
Blanchard and Wolfers w7282 The Role of Shocks and Institutions in the Rise of European Unemployment: The Aggregate Evidence
Freeman w13242 Labor Market Institutions Around the World
Hall Labor Demand, Labor Supply, and Employment Volatility
Blau and Kahn w8200 Understanding International Differences in the Gender Pay Gap
 
Publications
Activities
Meetings
NBER Videos
Data
People
About

Support
National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138; 617-868-3900; email: info@nber.org

Contact Us