This Selected Issues paper examines the state of labor supply in the Czech Republic. The Czech working age population is projected to decline. This has important implications for labor supply and long-term growth. Policies to increase participation rates and retirement age are important and can mitigate the decline in labor force, but are unlikely to offset it. Under a combined moderate policy improvement scenario, the labor force is expected to decline by 3 percent in 2030 and 15 percent in 2050. Under the very optimistic (hence less likely) scenario, the labor force would increase by 3 percentage points by 2030, but then start to decline later with a gap of 8 percent by 2050.
This Selected Issues paper analyzes the drivers of wage growth and inflation in Estonia. The analysis reveals that the role played by the inflation and inflation expectations in Estonia is different from those of the EU15. The impact of inflation on wage formation is smaller than in larger and richer countries with lower inflation volatility. This has limited the downward pressure on wages during the period of very low inflation in 2014–16. Although there has been an episode of wage growth leading inflation before the global financial crisis, the current simultaneous acceleration in prices and wages is not evidence of a developing wage-price spiral, as a significant share of the increase in inflation is owing to exogenous factors.
Labor market duality is a complex and critical issue for many countries that can lower productivity, contribute to inequality and result in negative externalities. In this paper, I study duality in the Korean labor market and analyze its sources and potential policy options. I find that employment protection legislations and large productivity differentials are the key drivers of Korea’s duality. In addition, applying a general equilibrium search-and-matching model and calibrating it to the Korean economy, I show that well-calibrated flexicurity policies can significantly reduce duality and inequality and raise welfare and productivity. Notably, the introduction of all three pillars—flexiblity, a strong safety net and active labor market policies—is critical for its success. If only one pillar is introduced it can result in negative side-effects and might not reduce duality.