Description : This study explores the effects of labor and product market deregulation on employment growth. Our empirical results, based on an OECD country panel from 1990-2004, suggest that lower levels of product and labor market regulation foster employment growth, including through sizable interaction effects. Based on these findings, the paper develops a theoretical framework for evaluating deregulation strategies in the presence of reform costs. Optimal deregulation takes various forms depending on the deregulation costs, the strength of reform interactions, and the perspective of the policymaker. Unless deregulation costs are very asymmetric across markets, optimal deregulation requires some form of coordination.
Description : The IMF Research Bulletin, a quarterly publication, selectively summarizes research and analytical work done by various departments at the IMF, and also provides a listing of research documents and other research-related activities, including conferences and seminars. The Bulletin is intended to serve as a summary guide to research done at the IMF on various topics, and to provide a better perspective on the analytical underpinnings of the IMF’s operational work.
Description : Demographic pressures will materialize in many economies over the next few decades. We examine the macroeconomic impact of alternative fiscal adjustment and structural reform strategies to address these global aging pressures using the IMF's Global Fiscal Model (GFM). The results suggest substantial spillover effects of aging through international financial channels. To maintain sustainability, fiscal adjustment needs to be broad-based, while avoiding increases in direct taxes. There are substantial benefits from fiscal cooperation, while negative growth effects can be offset by complementary structural reforms in product and labor markets with the benefits accruing early and to all incomegroups.
Description : Using the IMF's Global Economic Model, calibrated to the European Union, the effects of reform in product and labor markets are quantified for both a large and a small euro area economy. When markups in these markets are reduced, there are sizable long-term gains in output and employment. Most of these gains accrue to the reforming country regardless of whether reform takes place elsewhere; conversely, spillovers of reform elsewhere are limited. Labor and services market reforms have transitional costs as they induce a temporary decline in consumption, but raising competition in goods markets can mitigate some of these costs. Thus, coordinating the timing of reforms across markets is beneficial, and the more so the more open the reforming economy. In addition, synchronizing structural reforms across large countries of the euro area could eliminate transition costs. Increased supply would allow monetary policy to ease without jeopardizing price stability objectives, though in practice uncertainty may prevent full accommodation.