Institutional Enforcement, Labor-Market Rigidities, and Economic Performance
Oct 2006
This paper study the issue of institutional enforcement of regulations by focusing on labor-market policies and their potential link to economic performance. It test the different impacts of enforceable and non-enforceable labor regulations by proxying non-enforceable labor rigidity measures using data on conventions from the International Labor Organization (ILO). It has been argued that non-enforceable conventions -that is, those that exist on paper and are simply de jure regulations -appear to be more distortionary and tend to be the least enforced in practice (Squire and Suthiwart-Narueput, 1997). According to Freeman (1993), these conventions reflect the ideal regulatory framework from an institutionalist perspective and cover a variety of labor market issues, from child labor to placement agencies. Whereas in theory, a country's ratification of ILO conventions gives the country legal status and thus supersedes domestic regulations relating to those issues, in practice the degree of labor-market rigidity depends on how the conventions are enforced. It is the outcome of the regulations that matters, rather than their number.