Working Paper No. 333
By Francesco Zanetti
This paper explores the influence of some key institutional features of the labour market on aggregate fluctuations. It uses a dynamic, stochastic, general equilibrium model characterised by search and matching frictions in the labour market and nominal rigidities in the goods market. It finds that firing costs and unemployment benefits can have substantial effects on aggregate fluctuations. Increasing firing costs decreases the volatility of output, employment and job flows, due to the reduction of the mass of jobs sensitive to disturbances and lower incentives for firms to hire and fire workers. Hence, firms adjust to shocks mainly through prices, and inflation then becomes more volatile. Raising unemployment benefits has the reverse effect on aggregate fluctuations.