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Characteristics of Unemployment Dynamics: The Chain Reaction Approach

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  • Karanassou, Marika

    ()
    (Queen Mary, University of London)

  • Snower, Dennis J.

    ()
    (Kiel Institute for the World Economy)

Abstract

The aim of this paper is to analyze and estimate salient characteristics of unemployment dynamics. Movements in unemployment are viewed as ‘ ‘ chain reactions’’ of responses to labor market shocks, working their way through systems of interacting lagged adjustment processes. In the context of estimated labor market systems for Germany, the UK, and the US, we construct aggregate measures of unemployment responses to temporary and permanent shocks. These measures are temporal (depicting how long it takes for unemployment to reach long-run equilibrium) and quantitative (depicting the cumulative amount of unused labor resources generated in the aftermath of a shock). Furthermore, we estimate the contributions of individual lagged adjustments to these aggregate measures. Our empirical results indicate that (i) lagged adjustment processes play an important part in explaining how temporary and permanent shocks affect unemployment, (ii) temporary and permanent shocks can yield quite different inter-country comparisons of unemployment effects, and (iii) the quantitative and temporal measures can also yield markedly different inter-country comparisons. This analysis provides insights into the driving forces underlying the movements of unemployment in the countries above.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 127.

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Length: 59 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2000
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp127

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Keywords: Unemployment; natural rate hypothesis; labor markets; employment; adjustment costs;

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References

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  1. Pesaran, M Hashem, 1997. "The Role of Economic Theory in Modelling the Long Run," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(440), pages 178-91, January.
  2. Olivier J. Blanchard & Lawrence H. Summers, 1986. "Hysteresis and the European Unemployment Problem," NBER Working Papers 1950, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Lindbeck, Assar & Snower, Dennis J, 1987. "Strike and Lock-Out Threats and Fiscal Policy," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 39(4), pages 760-84, December.
  4. Nickell, S J, 1978. "Fixed Costs, Employment and Labour Demand over the Cycle," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 45(180), pages 329-45, November.
  5. Pesaran, M.H. & Shin, Y., 1995. "An Autoregressive Distributed Lag Modelling Approach to Cointegration Analysis," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 9514, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  6. Pesaran, M. H. & Shin, Y. & Smith, R. J., 1996. "Testing for the 'Existence of a Long-run Relationship'," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 9622, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  7. Layard, R. & Bean, C., 1988. "Why Does Unemployment Persist?," Papers 321, London School of Economics - Centre for Labour Economics.
  8. Lindbeck, Assar & Snower, Dennis J, 1990. "Cooperation, Harassment, and Involuntary Unemployment: Reply," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(3), pages 631-36, June.
  9. Lindbeck, Assar & Snower, Dennis J., 1987. "Union activity, unemployment persistence and wage-employment ratchets," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(1-2), pages 157-167.
  10. Taylor, John B, 1979. "Staggered Wage Setting in a Macro Model," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 69(2), pages 108-13, May.
  11. Lindbeck, Assar & Snower, Dennis J., 1993. "How are Product Demand Changes Transmitted to the Labour Market?," CEPR Discussion Papers 844, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  12. repec:fth:inseep:9645 is not listed on IDEAS
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Cited by:
  1. Bande, Roberto & Karanassou, Marika, 2007. "Labour Market Flexibility and Regional Unemployment Rate Dynamics: Spain 1980-1995," IZA Discussion Papers 2593, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Marika Karanassou & Hector Sala & Dennis Snower, 2004. "Unemployment in the European Union: Institutions, Prices, and Growth," CESifo Working Paper Series 1247, CESifo Group Munich.
  3. Karanassou, Marika & Sala, Hector & Snower, Dennis J., 2004. "Unemployment in the EU: Institutions, Prices and Growth," CEPR Discussion Papers 4243, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Roberto Bande, 2002. "Ajustes Dinámicos en las Tasas de Paro: España Vs. Portugal," Documentos de trabajo - Analise Economica 0020, IDEGA - Instituto Universitario de Estudios e Desenvolvemento de Galicia.
  5. Xavier Raurich & Hector Sala & Valeri Sorolla, . "Employment and public capital in Spain," Working Papers 2001-21, FEDEA.

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