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The sources of unemployment fluctuations: an empirical application to the Italian case

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  • Fabiani, Silvia
  • Locarno, Alberto
  • Oneto, Giampaolo
  • Sestito, Paolo

Abstract

The paper attempts at disentangling the main sources of the rise in the Italian unemployment rate over the last four decades on the basis of a small model a la Layard-Nickell, identified and estimated using a structural VAR approach. Unemployment movements are assumed to be driven by fully permanent and long-lived but temporary shocks. The component of unemployment related to current and lagged demand shocks deriving from the sVAR estimation is found to be relevant and quite persistent, its swings accounting for approximately a 4 percentage points change in the unemployment rate. In particular, while temporary by construction, this component shows an almost continuous increase since the beginning of the 1980s. Nonetheless, the results confirm that the bulk of the rise in Italian unemployment is to be attributed to non-demand factors: temporary (namely productivity and labour supply shocks) and fully permanent (namely shocks to the wage bargaining schedule). The latter explain a gradual rise of about 2.5 percentage points between the end of the 1960s and the beginning of the 1980s; over the last 15-20 years, however, they do not seem to have further contributed to the worsening of unemployment situation. JEL Classification: C51, E24, J60

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by European Central Bank in its series Working Paper Series with number 0029.

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Date of creation: Sep 2000
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Handle: RePEc:ecb:ecbwps:20000029

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  1. Douglas O. Staiger & James H. Stock & Mark W. Watson, 1997. "How Precise Are Estimates of the Natural Rate of Unemployment?," NBER Chapters, in: Reducing Inflation: Motivation and Strategy, pages 195-246 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Christopher Pissarides, 1997. "The impact of employment tax cuts on unemployment and wages : the role of unemployment benefits and tax structure," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 2332, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  3. Fabiani, Silvia & Locarno, Alberto & Oneto, Gian Paolo & Sestito, Paolo, 2001. "The sources of unemployment fluctuations: an empirical application to the Italian case," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(2), pages 259-289, May.
  4. Ljungqvist, Lars & Sargent, Thomas J., 1995. "The Swedish unemployment experience," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 39(5), pages 1043-1070, May.
  5. Robert J. Gordon, 1997. "The Time-Varying NAIRU and its Implications for Economic Policy," NBER Working Papers 5735, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  8. Layard, Richard & Nickell, Stephen & Jackman, Richard, 2005. "Unemployment: Macroeconomic Performance and the Labour Market," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199279173.
  9. Alan Manning, 1992. "Wage Bargaining and the Phillips Curve: The Identification and Specification of Aggregate Wage Equations," CEP Discussion Papers dp0062, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  10. Dolado, Juan J. & Jimeno, Juan F., 1997. "The causes of Spanish unemployment: A structural VAR approach," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 41(7), pages 1281-1307, July.
  11. DiTella, Rafael & MacCulloch, Robert, 1999. "The consequences of labour market flexibility: Panel evidence based on survey data," ZEI Working Papers B 02-1999, ZEI - Center for European Integration Studies, University of Bonn.
  12. Olivier Jean Blanchard & Danny Quah, 1988. "The Dynamic Effects of Aggregate Demand and Supply Disturbance," Working papers 497, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  13. Gavosto, Andrea & Pellegrini, Guido, 1999. "Demand and supply shocks in Italy:: An application to industrial output," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 43(9), pages 1679-1703, October.
  14. Ron Smith, 1999. "Unit roots and all that: the impact of time-series methods on macroeconomics," Journal of Economic Methodology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 6(2), pages 239-258.
  15. Silvia Fabiani & Alberto Locarno & Gian Paolo Oneto & Paolo Sestito, 1997. "NAIRU: Incomes Policy and Inflation," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 187, OECD Publishing.
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  1. ¿Empleo y/o salarios?
    by Samuel Bentolila in Nada Es Gratis on 2013-07-16 05:55:07
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Cited by:
  1. Fabiani, Silvia & Locarno, Alberto & Oneto, Gian Paolo & Sestito, Paolo, 2001. "The sources of unemployment fluctuations: an empirical application to the Italian case," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(2), pages 259-289, May.
  2. Luis Eduardo Arango & IREGUI, Ana María & MELO, Luis F., 2006. "Recent macroeconomic performance in colombia: what went wrong?," REVISTA DE ECONOMÍA DEL ROSARIO, UNIVERSIDAD DEL ROSARIO.
  3. Luis Eduardo Arango & Ana María Iregui & Luis Fernando Melo, 2003. "Recent Behavior of Outpout , Unemployment, Wages and Prices in Colombia: What went wrong?," BORRADORES DE ECONOMIA 003417, BANCO DE LA REPÚBLICA.
  4. Alexius, Annika & Holmlund, Bertil, 2007. "Monetary Policy and Swedish Unemployment Fluctuations," Working Paper Series 2007:17, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
  5. Fabiani, S. & Palenzuela-Rodriguez, D., 2001. "Model-Based Indicators of Labour Market Rigidity," Papers 57, Quebec a Montreal - Recherche en gestion.
  6. Devicenti francesco & Maida Agata & Sestito Paolo, 2005. "Downward Wage Rigidity in Italy : Micro-based Measures and Implications," Department of Economics and Statistics Cognetti de Martiis. Working Papers 200503, University of Turin.
  7. Francesco Pastore, 2010. "Assessing the impact of incomes policy: the Italian experience," International Journal of Manpower, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 31(7), pages 793-817, November.
  8. Bergvall, Anders & Forsfält, Tomas & Hjelm, Göran & Nilsson, Jonny & Vartiainen, Juhana, 2007. "KIMOD 1.0 Documentation of NIER´s Dynamic Macroeconomic General Equilibrium Model of the Swedish Economy," Working Paper 100, National Institute of Economic Research.
  9. Ralf Brüggemann, 2006. "Sources of German unemployment: a structural vector error correction analysis," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 31(2), pages 409-431, June.
  10. Hjelm, Göran & Jönsson, Kristian, 2010. "In Search of a Method for Measuring the Output Gap of the Swedish Economy," Working Paper 115, National Institute of Economic Research.

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