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Ralentissement de la croissance potentielle et hausse du chômage


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  • Olivier Passet
  • Christine Rifflart
  • Henri Sterdyniak


[eng] Since 1973, the industrialized countries growth has seriously slown down. In some countries (the United States, Japan), the unemployment rate has not been hited. On the contrary, unemployment has continuously increased in nearly every european countries. Consequently, what part of the growth slowdown is due to the potential output low pace of growth ? Has the equilibrium unemployment rate really increased in Europe ? Is this increase linked to the potential output slowdown ? This paper is a survey of the theoritical and empirical links between potential output and unemployment in the indutrialized countries, especially in Europe. The potential output growth may be defined as the non accelerating inflation rate level of production. Some try to estimate this output on the basis of purely statistical methods. However, other approachs using an explicit production function appear to be well better. According to this point of view, results from the international organisms imply very strong conclusions for Europe : the présent weakness of the potential output growth ( between 2.1 and 2.3 %) and a narrow output gap in 1995 ( -0.3 % for EC, -1.5 % for OECD, -2.2 % for the IMF). But thèse results underestimate the labor and capital capacities as well as technical progress. Four reasons can explain the slowdown of potential output pace. First of ail, we can assume an exogeneous drop of the technical progress (which remains largely misunderstood in spite of empirical investigations using both traditional or endogeneous growth theoritical framework). Secondly, labour market rigidities can be a proper candidate explaining how the slowdown of technical progress has pushed up the unemployment equilibrium, but not as much as observed. A third explanation can be found in a insufficient capital accumulation path, due to the weak profitability of corporate sector (but that explanation does not seem suitable to the european context). At least, actual growth can modify potential

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Presses de Sciences-Po in its journal Revue de l'OFCE.

Volume (Year): n° 60 (1997)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 109-146

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Handle: RePEc:cai:reofsp:reof_p1997_60n1_0109

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Cited by:
  1. Gian Luigi Mazzi & Frédéric Reynès & Matthieu Lemoine & Paola Veroni, 2008. "Real Time Estimation of Potential Output and Output Gap for the Euro-Area : Comparing Production Function with Unobserved Components and SVAR Approaches," Sciences Po publications 2008-34, Sciences Po.
  2. Matthieu Lemoine & Gian Luigi Mazzi & Paola Monperrus-Veroni & Frédéric Reynes, 2008. "Real time estimation of potential output and output gap for the euro-area: comparing production function with unobserved components and SVAR approaches," Documents de Travail de l'OFCE 2008-34, Observatoire Francais des Conjonctures Economiques (OFCE).
  3. Bruno Ducoudré, 2005. "Fiscal policy and interest rates," Documents de Travail de l'OFCE 2005-08, Observatoire Francais des Conjonctures Economiques (OFCE).
  4. Frédéric Reynès & Henri Sterdyniak & Eric Heyer, 2004. "Observable and unobservable variables in the theory of the equilibrium rate of unemployment, a comparison between France and the United States," Sciences Po publications n°2004-06, Sciences Po.
  5. Heyer, Eric & Reynes, Frederic & Sterdyniak, Henri, 2007. "Structural and reduced approaches of the equilibrium rate of unemployment, a comparison between France and the United States," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 24(1), pages 42-65, January.
  6. Bruno Ducoudré, 2006. "Politique monetaire, inertie des taux longs Americains et choix de portefeuille," Documents de Travail de l'OFCE 2006-09, Observatoire Francais des Conjonctures Economiques (OFCE).


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