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Productivity Growth, Wage Setting and the Equilibrium Rate of Unemployment

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  • Alan Manning

Abstract

This paper argues that one cannot tell a convincing story of the rise in OECD unemployment without mentioning the slowdown in productivity and real wage growth that occurred in the 1970s. It is argued that whereas most authors have regarded any effects of the slowdown on unemployment as temporary while "real wage resistance" is overcome, there is no theoretical reason to believe that this is the case. This point was illustrated using dynamic union bargaining model. This model also suggested that a Phillips Curve was appropriate as an empirical wage equation. For most OECD countries such a wage equation works well, and the slowdown in real wage growth does appear to have been important in explaining the rise in unemployment.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Centre for Economic Performance, LSE in its series CEP Discussion Papers with number dp0063.

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Date of creation: Mar 1992
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Handle: RePEc:cep:cepdps:dp0063

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Web page: http://cep.lse.ac.uk/_new/publications/series.asp?prog=CEP

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Cited by:
  1. Gylfi Zoega, 2009. "Employment and Asset Prices," Economics wp46, Department of Economics, Central bank of Iceland.
  2. Yu-Fu Chen & Dennis Snower & Gylfi Zoega, 2003. "Labour-market Institutions and Macroeconomic Shocks," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 17(2), pages 247-270, 06.
  3. Hatton, Timothy J., 2002. "Can Productivity Growth Explain NAIRU? Long-run Evidence from Britain, 1871-1999," CEPR Discussion Papers 3424, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Edmund S. Phelps, 1998. "Designing a Capitalist Economy for Fast Growth and High Employment in Today's Globalized World Economy," Journal of Applied Economics, Universidad del CEMA, vol. 0, pages 87-103, November.
  5. Thomas Dalsgaard & Jørgen Elmeskov & Cyn-Young Park, 2002. "Ongoing Changes in the Business Cycle: Evidence and Causes," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 315, OECD Publishing.
  6. Arestis, Philip & Mariscal, Iris Biefang-Frisancho, 1998. "Capital shortages and asymmetries in UK unemployment," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 9(2), pages 189-204, June.
  7. Martin Neil Baily & Eric J. Bartelsman & John Haltiwanger, 1994. "Downsizing and Productivity Growth: Myth or Reality?," NBER Working Papers 4741, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Florence Thibault & Yannick L'Horty, 1997. "Le Nairu en France : les insuffisances d'une courbe de Phillips," Économie et Prévision, Programme National Persée, vol. 127(1), pages 83-99.
  9. Campbell leith & Chol-Won Li, 2001. "Unemployment and the Productivity Slowdown: A Labour Supply Perspective," Working Papers 2001_13, Business School - Economics, University of Glasgow.
  10. Roeger, Werner & Wijkander, Hans, 2000. "Unemployment in Europe: Swimming against the Tide of Skill-Biased Technical Progress without Relative Wage Adjustment," Research Papers in Economics 2000:9, Stockholm University, Department of Economics.

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