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Unemployment, Labour Market Institutions and Shocks

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This paper aims to explain the cross sectional differences in, and the time series evolution of, OECD unemployment from 1960 to 1995. We want to know how much of it can be accounted for by changes in labour market institutions, and the interactions of institutions and macroeconomic shocks. Our aim is also to verify the consistency of unemployment fluctuations with the labour cost results presented in Nunziata (2001). Our findings suggest that labour market institutions have a direct significant impact on unemployment in a fashion that is broadly consistent with their impact on real labour costs. Broad movements in unemployment across the OECD can be explained by shifts in labour market institutions, although this explanation relies on high levels of endogenous persistence. We cannot rule out a significant role for institutions through their interaction with adverse shocks, although the estimates do not appear extremely robust in this case. In contrast, the direct effect of institutions still holds when we include the possibility of interactions between shocks and institutions.

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File URL: http://www.nuff.ox.ac.uk/economics/papers/2002/w16/p4unemploymentWP.pdf
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Paper provided by Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford in its series Economics Papers with number 2002-W16.

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Length: 40 pages
Date of creation: 11 Jun 2002
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Handle: RePEc:nuf:econwp:0216

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Web page: http://www.nuff.ox.ac.uk/economics/

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  1. Belot, M.V.K. & Ours, J.C. van, 2001. "Unemployment and Labor Market Institutions: An Empirical Analysis," Discussion Paper 2001-50, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  2. Jean-Paul Fitoussi & David Jestaz & Edmund S. Phelps & Gylfi Zoega, 2000. "Roots of the Recent Recoveries: Labor Reforms or Private Sector Forces?," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 31(1), pages 237-311.
  3. Francesco Daveri & Guido Tabellini, . "Unemployment, Growth and Taxation in Industrial Countries," Working Papers 122, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
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  7. 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.
  8. L. Nunziata, 2002. "Institutions and Wage Determination: A Multi-Country Approach," Working Papers 433, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
  9. Giuseppe Bertola & Francine D. Blau & Lawrence M. Kahn, 2001. "Comparative Analysis of Labor Market Outcomes: Lessons for the US from International Long-Run Evidence," NBER Working Papers 8526, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. 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.
  11. Maddala, G S & Wu, Shaowen, 1999. " A Comparative Study of Unit Root Tests with Panel Data and a New Simple Test," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 61(0), pages 631-52, Special I.
  12. Phillips, P.C.B., 1986. "Testing for a Unit Root in Time Series Regression," Cahiers de recherche 8633, Universite de Montreal, Departement de sciences economiques.
  13. Luca Nunziata & Stefano Staffolani, 2001. "On Short-Term Contracts Regulations," Economics Series Working Papers 2001-W07, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  14. Nickell, Stephen J, 1981. "Biases in Dynamic Models with Fixed Effects," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(6), pages 1417-26, November.
  15. Pesaran, M. Hashem & Smith, Ron, 1995. "Estimating long-run relationships from dynamic heterogeneous panels," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 79-113, July.
  16. Michèle Belot & Jan C. van Ours, 2004. "Does the recent success of some OECD countries in lowering their unemployment rates lie in the clever design of their labor market reforms?," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 56(4), pages 621-642, October.
  17. Judson, Ruth A. & Owen, Ann L., 1999. "Estimating dynamic panel data models: a guide for macroeconomists," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 9-15, October.
  18. McElroy, Marjorie B., 1977. "Weaker MSE criteria and tests for linear restrictions in regression models with non-spherical disturbances," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 6(3), pages 389-394, November.
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