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Unemployment Equilibria And Input Prices: Theory And Evidence From The United States

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  • Alan A. Carruth
  • Mark A. Hooker
  • Andrew J. Oswald

Abstract

The paper develops an efficiency-wage model in which input prices affect the equilibrium rate of unemployment. We show that a simple framework based on only two prices (the real price of oil and the real rate of interest) is able to explain the main postwar movements in the rate of U.S. joblessness. The equations do well in forecasting unemployment many years out of sample, and provide evidence that the oil-price spike associated with Iraq's invasion of Kuwait appears to be a component of the "mystery" recession that followed. © 1998 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technolog

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by MIT Press in its journal The Review of Economics and Statistics.

Volume (Year): 80 (1998)
Issue (Month): 4 (November)
Pages: 621-628

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Handle: RePEc:tpr:restat:v:80:y:1998:i:4:p:621-628

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  1. Kim, In-Moo & Loungani, Prakash, 1992. "The role of energy in real business cycle models," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 173-189, April.
  2. Shapiro, Carl & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1984. "Equilibrium Unemployment as a Worker Discipline Device," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(3), pages 433-44, June.
  3. Bean, Charles R, 1994. "European Unemployment: A Survey," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 32(2), pages 573-619, June.
  4. Hamilton, James D., 1996. "This is what happened to the oil price-macroeconomy relationship," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 215-220, October.
  5. Hamilton, James D, 1988. "A Neoclassical Model of Unemployment and the Business Cycle," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(3), pages 593-617, June.
  6. Hooker, Mark A., 1996. "What happened to the oil price-macroeconomy relationship?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 195-213, October.
  7. Kiseok Lee & Shawn Ni & Ronald A. Ratti, 1995. "Oil Shocks and the Macroeconomy: The Role of Price Variability," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 4), pages 39-56.
  8. Hamilton, James D, 1983. "Oil and the Macroeconomy since World War II," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(2), pages 228-48, April.
  9. Keane, Michael P & Prasad, Eswar S, 1996. "The Employment and Wage Effects of Oil Price Changes: A Sectoral Analysis," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 78(3), pages 389-400, August.
  10. Burbidge, John & Harrison, Alan, 1984. "Testing for the Effects of Oil-Price Rises Using Vector Autoregressions," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 25(2), pages 459-84, June.
  11. Peter Ferderer, J., 1996. "Oil price volatility and the macroeconomy," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 1-26.
  12. Oswald Andrew J., 1996. "A Conjecture on the Explanation for High Unemployment in the Industrialized Nations : Part I," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 475, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  13. Dale W. Jorgenson, 1984. "The Role of Energy in Productivity Growth," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 3), pages 11-26.
  14. Nickell, Stephen J, 1990. "Unemployment: A Survey," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 100(401), pages 391-439, June.
  15. Mork, Knut Anton, 1989. "Oil and Macroeconomy When Prices Go Up and Down: An Extension of Hamilton's Results," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(3), pages 740-44, June.
  16. Jorgenson, Dale W, 1984. "The Role of Energy in Productivity Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(2), pages 26-30, May.
  17. A Carruth & M Hooker & A Oswald, 1994. "Unemployment, Oil Prices and the Real Interest Rate: Evidence from Canada and the UK," CEP Discussion Papers dp0188, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  18. Bruno, Michael & Sachs, Jeffrey, 1982. "Input Price Shocks and the Slowdown in Economic Growth: The Case of U.K. Manufacturing," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 49(5), pages 679-705, Special I.
  19. Rasche, Robert H. & Tatom, John A., 1981. "Energy price shocks, aggregate supply and monetary policy: The theory and the international evidence," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 9-93, January.
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