Sunday, 7 July 2013

Making it easier to fire workers really does lower the unemployment rate

By Tim Worstall

We're all used to the idea that making the labour market more flexible, which is a code for making it easier to fire workers, lowers the unemployment rate. I think we've all also seen the counter-argument that this is tosh. It's never quite laid out why it is but it must be so there. Fortunately we've now got some more empirical evidence to bolster our case about flexibility increasing employment:
Using 1981–2009 data for the 50 states, this article examines the relationship between economic freedom and the unemployment rate, the labor force participation rate, and the employment-population ratio. After controlling for a variety of state-level characteristics, the results from most specifications indicate that economic freedom is associated with lower unemployment and with higher labor force participation and employment-population ratios.
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