Labour Market Reforms and Outcomes in Estonia
International Monetary Fund (IMF) - European Department
Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD); CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute for Economic Research); Université Paris X Nanterre - Department of Economics; William Davidson Institute
March 12, 2012
CESifo Working Paper Series No. 3756
The unemployment rate in Estonia rose sharply in 2010 to one of the highest levels in the EU, after the country entered a severe recession in 2008. While the rate declined relatively rapidly in 2011, it remained high especially for the less educated. In 2009, the Employment Contract Law relaxed employment protection legislation and sought to raise income protection of the unemployed to facilitate transition from less to more productive jobs while mitigating social costs. Utilizing a search model, this paper shows that increasing further labour market flexibility through reducing the tax wedge on labour would facilitate the structural transformation and reduce the long-term unemployment rate. Linking increases in unemployment benefits to participation in job search or training programmes would improve the unemployed workers’ incentives to search for jobs or retrain and the medium term labour market outcomes. Social protection schemes for the unemployed should be also strengthened as initially intended to give the unemployed sufficient time to search for adequate jobs or retrain for new opportunities.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 17
Keywords: labour market reforms, search model, Estonia, OECD countries
JEL Classification: J080, J640, E240working papers series
Date posted: March 12, 2012
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