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Employment fluctuations in a dual labor market

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Issue Date
2010
Physical description
68 p. : tab., gráf.
Abstract
In light of the huge cross-country differences in job losses during the recent crisis, we study how labor market duality - meaning the coexistence of "temporary" contracts with low firing costs and "permanent" contracts with high firing costs - affects labor market volatility. In a model of job creation and destruction based on Mortensen and Pissarides (1994), we show that a labor market with these two contract types is more volatile than an otherwise-identical economy with a single contract type. Calibrating our model to Spain, we find that unemployment fluctuates 21% more under duality than it would in a unified economy with the same average firing cost, and 33% more than it would in a unified economy with the same average unemployment rate. In our setup, employment grows gradually in booms, due to matching frictions, whereas the onset of a recession causes a burst of firing of "fragile" low-productivity jobs. Unlike permanent jobs, some newly-created temporary jobs are already near the firing margin, which makes temporary jobs more likely to be fragile and means they play a disproportionate role in employment fluctuations
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Documentos de trabajo / Banco de España, 1013
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