The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
Government wage, benefit, and employment decisions are not taken on a profit-maximizing basis and have a substantial impact on aggregate labor market performance and unemployment. In a two-sector labor market model with free mobility of labor, an increase in government wages or benefits reduces private sector employment, and government employment is not an effective counter-cyclical instrument. Empirical tests for Greece confirm that the expansion of the public sector in the 1980s contributed to the deterioration of labor market performance.