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The Un-Intended Convergence: How the Finnish Unemployment Reached the European Level

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  • Erkki Koskela
  • Roope Uusitalo

Abstract

The Finnish unemployment rose in the early 1990’s from three to eighteen percent in four years. Unemployment has then decreased to the average European level, being 8.5 percent in October 2002. In this paper, we describe the shocks leading to this unforeseen increase in unemployment. We then discuss the role of labour market institutions in the adjustment process that has brought unemployment back to ‘normal’ levels. We argue that these institutions cannot be blamed for the increase in unemployment, but that more flexible institutions could have lead to a more rapid decline in unemployment.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 878.

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Length:
Date of creation: 2003
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_878

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Keywords: unemployment; labour market institutions;

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References

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  1. Francesco Daveri & Guido Tabellini, 2000. "Unemployment, growth and taxation in industrial countries," Economic Policy, CEPR & CES & MSH, vol. 15(30), pages 47-104, 04.
  2. Daniele Checchi & Claudio Lucifora, 2002. "Unions and labour market institutions in Europe," Departmental Working Papers 2002-16, Department of Economics, Management and Quantitative Methods at Università degli Studi di Milano.
  3. Tomi Kyyrä, 1999. "Post-Unemployment Wages and Economic Incentives to Exit from Unemployment," Research Reports 56, Government Institute for Economic Research Finland (VATT).
  4. Nickell, Stephen & Layard, Richard, 1999. "Labor market institutions and economic performance," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 46, pages 3029-3084 Elsevier.
  5. Blanchard, Olivier & Wolfers, Justin, 2000. "The Role of Shocks and Institutions in the Rise of European Unemployment: The Aggregate Evidence," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(462), pages C1-33, March.
  6. Layard, Richard & Nickell, Stephen & Jackman, Richard, 2005. "Unemployment: Macroeconomic Performance and the Labour Market," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199279173, Octomber.
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  13. Juha Kettunen, 1993. "Increasing incentives for reemployment," Finnish Economic Papers, Finnish Economic Association, vol. 6(1), pages 51-60, Spring.
  14. Meyer, Bruce D, 1990. "Unemployment Insurance and Unemployment Spells," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(4), pages 757-82, July.
  15. Calmfors, Lars & Forslund, Anders & Hemström, Maria, 2002. "Does Active Labour Market Policy Work? Lessons from the Swedish Experiences," Seminar Papers 700, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
  16. Kettunen, Juha, . "Re-employment of Finnish Unemployed Workers," ETLA A, The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy, number 17.
  17. Holm, Pasi & Honkapohja, Seppo & Koskela, Erkki, 1994. "A monopoly-union model of wage determination with capital and taxes: An empirical application to the Finnish manufacturing," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 285-303, February.
  18. Carling, Kenneth & Edin, Per-Anders & Harkman, Anders & Holmlund, Bertil, 1996. "Unemployment duration, unemployment benefits, and labor market programs in Sweden," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(3), pages 313-334, March.
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  20. Calmfors, Lars & Lang, Harald, 1995. "Macroeconomic Effects of Active Labour Market Programmes in a Union Wage-Setting Model," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 105(430), pages 601-19, May.
  21. Baker, Michael, 1992. "Unemployment Duration: Compositional Effects and Cyclical Variability," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(1), pages 313-21, March.
  22. Stephen Nickell, 1997. "Unemployment and Labor Market Rigidities: Europe versus North America," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(3), pages 55-74, Summer.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Tomi Kyyrä & Ralf A. Wilke, 2006. "Reduction in the Long-Term Unemployment of the Elderly: A Success Story from Finland Revised," Discussion Papers 396, Government Institute for Economic Research Finland (VATT).
  2. Böckerman, Petri & Laaksonen, Seppo & Vainiomäki, Jari, 2006. "Micro-level evidence on wage rigidities in Finland," MPRA Paper 1811, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. Tomi Kyyrä & Ralf Wilke, 2004. "Reduction in the Long-Term Unemployment of the Elderly: A Success Story from Finland," Discussion Papers 346, Government Institute for Economic Research Finland (VATT).
  4. Kyyrä, Tomi, 2010. "Partial unemployment insurance benefits and the transition rate to regular work," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 54(7), pages 911-930, October.
  5. Castrén, Olli & Takalo , Tuomas & Wood , Geoffrey, 2004. "Labour market reform and the sustainability of exchange rate pegs," Research Discussion Papers 22/2004, Bank of Finland.
  6. Böckerman, Petri & Laaksonen, Seppo & Vainiomäki, Jari, 2009. "Micro-level Rigidity vs. Macro-level Flexibility: Lessons from Finland," MPRA Paper 15061, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  7. Koskela , Erkki & Uusitalo , Roope, 2004. "Unintended convergence – how Finnish unemployment reached the European level," Research Discussion Papers 6/2004, Bank of Finland.
  8. Petri Böckerman & Seppo Laaksonen & Jari Vainiomäki, 2007. "Who bears the burden of wage cuts? Evidence from Finland during the 1990s," International Journal of Manpower, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 28(1), pages 100 - 121, October.
  9. Heidi Soininen, 2007. "Finnish Evidence of Changes in Labor Market Matching," Finnish Economic Papers, Finnish Economic Association, vol. 20(1), pages 57-71, Spring.
  10. Lars Calmfors & Giancarlo Corsetti & Seppo Honkapohja & John Kay & Willi Leibfritz & Gilles Saint-Paul & Hans-Werner Sinn & Xavier Vives, 2004. "Pay-setting Systems in Europe: On-going Development and Possible Reforms," EEAG Report on the European Economy, CESifo Group Munich, vol. 0, pages 61-83, October.
  11. Tomi Kyyrä, 2007. "Studies on Wage Differentials and Labour Market Transitions," Research Reports 133, Government Institute for Economic Research Finland (VATT).
  12. Virve Ollikainen & Tomi Kyyrä, 2006. "To Search or Not to Search? The Effects of UI Benefit Extension for the Elderly Unemployed," Discussion Papers 400, Government Institute for Economic Research Finland (VATT).
  13. Böckerman, Petri & Ilmakunnas, Pekka, 2007. "Unemployment and self-assessed health: Evidence from panel data," MPRA Paper 1798, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  14. Böckerman, Petri & Hämäläinen, Ulla & Uusitalo, Roope, 2007. "Labour Market Effects of Polytechnic Education Reform: The Finnish Experience," MPRA Paper 4412, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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