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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
Date of revision:
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," Open Access publications from Tilburg University urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-89213, Tilburg University.
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  6. Belot, Michèle & van Ours, Jan C., 2000. "Does the Recent Success of Some OECD Countries in Lowering their Unemployment Rates Lie in the Clever Design of their Labour Market Reform?," IZA Discussion Papers 147, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. Luca Nunziata & Stefano Staffolani, 2001. "On Short-Term Contracts Regulations," Economics Series Working Papers 2001-W07, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  8. 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.
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  14. 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.
  15. Nickell, Stephen J, 1981. "Biases in Dynamic Models with Fixed Effects," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(6), pages 1417-26, November.
  16. 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.
  17. Nickell, Stephen, 1998. "Unemployment: Questions and Some Answers," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 108(448), pages 802-16, May.
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