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Unintended convergence – how Finnish unemployment reached the European level

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Author Info

  • Koskela , Erkki

    ()
    (University of Helsinki (RUESG) and CESifo)

  • Uusitalo , Roope

    (Labour Institute for Economic Research and Uppsala University)

Abstract

Finnish unemployment rose in the early 1990s from 3% to 18% in just four years. It has since fallen back to the average European level, being 9.0% in January 2003. In this paper, we describe the shocks leading to this unforeseen increase in unemployment. We then discuss and research the role of labour market institutions in the adjustment process that has brought unemployment back to a ‘normal’ level. We argue that these institutions cannot be blamed for the increase in unemployment, but that more flexible institutions could have led to a more rapid fall in unemployment once the Finnish economy began to recover.

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File URL: http://www.suomenpankki.fi/en/julkaisut/tutkimukset/keskustelualoitteet/Documents/0406.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Bank of Finland in its series Research Discussion Papers with number 6/2004.

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Length: 35 pages
Date of creation: 01 Jan 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:bofrdp:2004_006

Contact details of provider:
Postal: Bank of Finland, P.O. Box 160, FI-00101 Helsinki, Finland
Web page: http://www.suomenpankki.fi/en/
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Related research

Keywords: economic crisis; labour market institutions; unemployment;

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References

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  1. Stephen Nickell, 1999. "Finnish unemployment : a view from outside," Finnish Economic Papers, Finnish Economic Association, vol. 12(2), pages 62-81, Autumn.
  2. Tuulia Hakola & Roope Uusitalo, 2001. "Let's Make a Deal - the Impact of Social Security Provisions and Firm Liabilities on Early Retirement," Discussion Papers 260, Government Institute for Economic Research Finland (VATT).
  3. 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.
  4. Olivier Jean Blanchard & Peter Diamond, 1990. "Ranking, Unemployment Duration, and Wages," NBER Working Papers 3387, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Reija Lilja, 1993. "Unemployment benefit system and unemployment duration in Finland," Finnish Economic Papers, Finnish Economic Association, vol. 6(1), pages 25-37, Spring.
  6. Meyer, Bruce D, 1990. "Unemployment Insurance and Unemployment Spells," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(4), pages 757-82, July.
  7. Layard, Richard & Nickell, Stephen & Jackman, Richard, 2005. "Unemployment: Macroeconomic Performance and the Labour Market," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199279173.
  8. Stephen Machin & Alan Manning, 1998. "The causes and consequences of long-term unemployment in Europe," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 20255, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  9. Lars Calmfors, 2001. "Wages and Wage-Bargaining Institutions in the Emu : A Survey of the Issues," CESifo Working Paper Series 520, CESifo Group Munich.
  10. 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.
  11. Lawrence F. Katz & Bruce D. Meyer, 1988. "The Impact of the Potential Duration of Unemployment Benefits on the Duration of Unemployment," NBER Working Papers 2741, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Erkki Koskela & Roope Uusitalo, 2003. "The Un-Intended Convergence: How the Finnish Unemployment Reached the European Level," CESifo Working Paper Series 878, CESifo Group Munich.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Kyyrä, Tomi & Maliranta, Mika, 2006. "The Micro-level Dynamics of Declining Labour Share: Lessons from Finnish Great Leap," Discussion Papers 1049, The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy.
  2. Marika Karanassou & Hector Sala & Pablo F. Salvador, 2008. "Capital accumulation and unemployment: new insights on the Nordic experience," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 32(6), pages 977-1001, November.
  3. Fregert, Klas & Pehkonen, Jaakko, 2008. "Causes of structural unemployment in Finland and Sweden 1990-2004," Working Papers 2008:14, Lund University, Department of Economics.
  4. Juan Carlos Conesa & Timothy J. Kehoe & Kim J. Ruhl, 2007. "Modeling great depressions: the depression in Finland in the 1990s," Staff Report 401, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  5. Mikko Puhakka, 2005. "Equilibrium dynamics under lump-sum taxation in an exchange economy with skewed endowments," Macroeconomics 0508033, EconWPA.
  6. Antti Suvanto & Juhana Hukkinen, 2005. "Stable price level and changing prices," Macroeconomics 0508034, EconWPA.
  7. Leitemo, Kai & Söderström, Ulf, 2008. "Robust Monetary Policy In The New Keynesian Framework," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 12(S1), pages 126-135, April.
  8. Verho, Jouko, 2008. "Scars of recession: the long-term costs of the Finnish economic crisis," Working Paper Series 2008:9, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
  9. Tomi Kyyrä & Mika Maliranta, 2006. "The Micro-Level Dynamics of Declining Labour Share: Lessons from the Finnish Great Leap," Discussion Papers 406, Government Institute for Economic Research Finland (VATT).

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