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Roots of the Recent Recoveries : Labor Reforms or Private-Sector Forces ?

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  • Fitoussi, J-P
  • Jestaz, D.
  • Phelps, E.S.
  • Zoega, G.

Abstract

It is widely agreed that the natural unemployment rate recovered strongly in several OECD economies in the 1990s while not yet in the others. This paper draws on models by the authors endogenizing the path of the natural rate in order to trace the causes and apportion the credit. The results suggest that the five structural reforms of the labor market urged by the OECD Secretariat were effective and account for some of the recovery where adopted. However, the paper sees most of the recoveries as largely the emergence from structural slump to a structural boom--a boom brought by revived investment in employees, customers and fixed capital. Behind this revival is a recovery of business-asset valuations resulting from improved expectations for productivity growth and, judging by the stock market, hopes for a future lift in business earnings that exceeds extrapolations of the past--both driven by the "new economy."

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Paper provided by Observatoire Francais des Conjonctures Economiques (OFCE) in its series Documents de Travail de l'OFCE with number 2000-04.

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Date of creation: 2000
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Handle: RePEc:fce:doctra:0004

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  1. 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.
  2. Salop, Steven C, 1979. "A Model of the Natural Rate of Unemployment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 69(1), pages 117-25, March.
  3. Hoon, Hian Teck & Phelps, Edmund S, 1992. "Macroeconomic Shocks in a Dynamized Model of the Natural Rate of Unemployment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(4), pages 889-900, September.
  4. Olivier Blanchard & Justin Wolfers, 1999. "The Role of Shocks and Institutions in the Rise of European Unemployment: The Aggregate Evidence," NBER Working Papers 7282, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Blanchard, Olivier J, 1985. "Debt, Deficits, and Finite Horizons," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(2), pages 223-47, April.
  6. Michael Bruno & Jeffrey D. Sachs, 1985. "Economics of Worldwide Stagflation," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number brun85-1, July.
  7. Layard, Richard & Nickell, Stephen, 1986. "Unemployment in Britain," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 53(210(S)), pages S121-69, Supplemen.
  8. Layard, Richard & Nickell, Stephen & Jackman, Richard, 2005. "Unemployment: Macroeconomic Performance and the Labour Market," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199279173, September.
  9. Madsen, Jakob B, 1998. "General Equilibrium Macroeconomic Models of Unemployment: Can They Explain the Unemployment Path in the OECD?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 108(448), pages 850-67, May.
  10. Ours, J.C. van & Nickell, S.J., 2000. "The Netherlands and the United Kingdom: A European unemployment miracle?," Open Access publications from Tilburg University urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-84119, Tilburg University.
  11. Edmund S. Phelps, 1968. "Money-Wage Dynamics and Labor-Market Equilibrium," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 76, pages 678.
  12. Chinhui Juhn & Kevin M. Murphy & Robert H. Topel, 1991. "Why Has the Natural Rate of Unemployment Increased over Time?," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 22(2), pages 75-142.
  13. Phelps, Edmund S & Zoega, Gylfi, 1997. "The Rise and Downward Trend of the Natural Rate," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(2), pages 283-89, May.
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  1. Filling the Empty Box of Growth
    by Francesco Saraceno in Sparse Thoughts of a Gloomy European Economist on 2012-04-30 15:58:37
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