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Labor market institutions convergence in the European Union

Alka Obadić (), Vladimir Arčabić () and Lucija Rogić Dumančić ()
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Lucija Rogić Dumančić: Faculty of Economics and Business, University of Zagreb

No 2102, EFZG Working Papers Series from Faculty of Economics and Business, University of Zagreb

Abstract: This paper analyzes labor market institutions convergence in the European Union (EU) to test for economic integration of the EU countries. The convergence is analyzed for five indicators of labor market institutions: employment protection legislation index (EPL), tax wedge, unemployment benefits, active labor market policies, and minimum wages. Convergence is measured using standard beta and sigma convergence complemented with a more sophisticated and more flexible approach of the log-t regression. Annual data for the EU countries from 1993 to 2018 is considered, depending on availability. The results suggest there is no convergence in labor market institutions between EU member states. The differences between institutions are still substantial, and the labor market institutions are changing too slowly to converge. The empirical analysis also considers a possibility of club convergence, differentiating between endogenous clubs based on clustering algorithm and exogenous clubs based on geographical proximity and labor market similarities. Convergence is present only in endogenous clubs. Such results imply different long-run steady states where the differences between countries may be substantial. Since labor market institutions are fundamental determinants of employment and unemployment, differences found in labor market institutions suggest that levels of employment and unemployment in the EU will hardly converge, implying weak labor market integration

Keywords: labor market; institutions; convergence; club convergence; clustering algorithm (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C33 E02 E24 F45 O52 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 30
Date: 2021-02-10
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-mac
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