Pierre Cahuc, Pauline Carry, Franck Malherbet, Pedro S. Martins, 20 January 2022

In 2009, Portugal restricted the use of fixed-term contracts by firms with over 750 employees. This column finds that while the reform was successful in reducing the number of fixed-term jobs, it did not increase the number of permanent contracts and it decreased employment in large firms. Despite positive spillovers on small firms, the reform reduced total employment and had negative effects on the welfare of employees and unemployed workers.

Samuel Bentolila, Juan Dolado, Juan F Jimeno, 20 January 2012

Spain has a lower public debt-to-GDP ratio than not only Italy, but also France, Germany, and the UK. So why is it threatened with another downgrade? This column points to the fundamental problem with Spain’s economy – the insider-outsider divide that has led to the highest unemployment rate in the Eurozone. It proposes a single open-ended contract for all workers – a difficult solution whose time has come.

Alessandro Turrini, 10 August 2011

Many says southern Europe's low productivity is at least partly attributable to labour-market dualism. Despite that academic view, none of these economies have replaced existing labour contracts with a single contract. The column describes what the recent reform deal in Portugal might achieve.

Hermann Gartner, Christian Merkl, 09 March 2011

Policymakers the world over are staring at the strength of the German economy with envious eyes. This column argues that the root of Germany’s miracle lies in its “wage moderation” that was the result of labour-market policies in the years preceding the global crisis – a point that is often ignored in the public debate.

Alexander Gelber, Joshua Mitchell, 11 January 2010

When single women enter the labour force, how do their lifestyles change? This column shows that work in the market substitutes for work at home. For every additional hour that a single woman spends working in the market in response to a change in tax policy, she spends about 40 fewer minutes working at home.

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