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Earnings, Unemployment, and Housing: Evidence from a Panel of British Regions

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  • John Muellbauer
  • Gavin Cameron

Abstract

British regions display persistent differences in both earnings and unemployment rates. A number of studies have found that in general, regions that have high unemployment tend to have low wages. This runs contrary to a compensating differentials argument that high wages should compensate for high unemployment. However, levels of labour mobility in Britain, and especially levels of labour migration, are surprisingly low. The housing market therefore has an important impact on regional convergence. This paper discusses the determination of regional earnings and unemployment in the ten regions of Great Britain between 1972 and 1995, paying particular attention to their joint determination and to the influence of the housing market. We conclude that there is no wage-curve for non-manual men nor for full-time women, and that the wage-curve appears to be positively sloped for part-time women. However, for manual men, we find a significant elasticity of around –0.07, contrasting with Blanchflower and Oswald’s –0.1. For full-time men and women, we find highly significant but somewhat smaller long-run housing market effects than Blackaby and Manning (1992), but with particularly strong effects for nonmanual men compared with manual men. For unemployment, we confirm the important positive effect of lagged earnings on unemployment.

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File URL: http://www.nuff.ox.ac.uk/economics/papers/1999/w7/jae.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Oxford, Department of Economics in its series Economics Series Working Papers with number 1999-W07.

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Date of creation: 01 Feb 1999
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Handle: RePEc:oxf:wpaper:1999-w07

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Keywords: Earnings; Unemployment; Housing Markets; Wage-Curves; Regions;

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References

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  1. Muellbauer, J & Murphy, A, 1996. "Booms and Busts in the UK Housing Market," Economics Papers 125, Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
  2. Quah, Danny, 1996. "Regional Convergence Clusters Across Europe," CEPR Discussion Papers 1286, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Robert E. Hall, 1970. "Why Is the Unemployment Rate So High at Full Employment?," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 1(3), pages 369-410.
  4. White, Halbert, 1980. "A Heteroskedasticity-Consistent Covariance Matrix Estimator and a Direct Test for Heteroskedasticity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(4), pages 817-38, May.
  5. David G. Blanchflower & Andrew J. Oswald, 1995. "The Wage Curve," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 026202375x, December.
  6. Hendry, David F, 1997. "The Econometrics of Macroeconomic Forecasting," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(444), pages 1330-57, September.
  7. Robert J. Barro & Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 1991. "Convergence across States and Regions," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 22(1), pages 107-182.
  8. McCormick, Barry, 1997. "Regional unemployment and labour mobility in the UK," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 41(3-5), pages 581-589, April.
  9. M Pesaran & Yongcheol Shin & Ron P Smith, 2004. "Pooled mean group estimation of dynamic heterogeneous panels," ESE Discussion Papers 16, Edinburgh School of Economics, University of Edinburgh.
  10. Cameron, Gavin & Muellbauer, John, 1998. "The Housing Market and Regional Commuting and Migration Choices," CEPR Discussion Papers 1945, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  11. David Card, 1995. "The Wage Curve: A Review," Working Papers 722, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  12. Blanchard, O & Katz, L, 1996. "What We Know and Do Not Know about the Natural Rate of Unemployment," Working papers 96-29, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  13. Olivier Jean Blanchard & Lawrence F. Katz, 1992. "Regional Evolutions," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 23(1), pages 1-76.
  14. Blackaby, D H & Manning, D N, 1992. "Regional Earnings and Unemployment--A Simultaneous Approach," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 54(4), pages 481-501, November.
  15. Cameron, Gavin & Muellbauer, John, 2000. "Earnings Biases in the United Kingdom Regional Accounts: Some Economic Policy and Research Implications," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(464), pages F412-29, June.
  16. Sargan, J D, 1980. "A Model of Wage-Price Inflation," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(1), pages 97-112, January.
  17. Pissarides, Christopher A & McMaster, Ian, 1990. "Regional Migration, Wages and Unemployment: Empirical Evidence and Implications for Policy," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 42(4), pages 812-31, October.
  18. Barro, Robert J & Sala-i-Martin, Xavier, 1992. "Convergence," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(2), pages 223-51, April.
  19. Layard, Richard & Nickell, Stephen, 1986. "Unemployment in Britain," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 53(210(S)), pages S121-69, Supplemen.
  20. Richard Jackman & Richard Layard & S Savouri, 1990. "Mismatch: A Framework for Thought," CEP Discussion Papers dp0001, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  21. Jackman, Richard & Savouri, Savvas, 1992. "Regional Migration versus Regional Commuting: The Identification of Housing and Employment Flows," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 39(3), pages 272-87, August.
  22. David G. Blanchflower & Andrew J. Oswald, 1995. "An Introduction to the Wage Curve," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(3), pages 153-167, Summer.
  23. Layard, Richard & Nickell, Stephen & Jackman, Richard, 1991. "Unemployment: Macroeconomic Performance and the Labour Market," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198284345.
  24. Hughes, Gordon & McCormick, Barry & McCormick, Barry, 1987. "Housing markets, unemployment and labour market flexibility in the UK," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 615-641, April.
  25. Harris, John R & Todaro, Michael P, 1970. "Migration, Unemployment & Development: A Two-Sector Analysis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 60(1), pages 126-42, March.
  26. Maclennan, Duncan & Muellbauer, John & Stephens, Mark, 1998. "Asymmetries in Housing and Financial Market Institutions and EMU," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 14(3), pages 54-80, Autumn.
  27. Quah, Danny T., 1996. "Regional convergence clusters across Europe," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(3-5), pages 951-958, April.
  28. Pasaran, M.H. & Im, K.S. & Shin, Y., 1995. "Testing for Unit Roots in Heterogeneous Panels," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 9526, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  29. Ghatak, Subrata & Levine, Paul & Price, Stephen Wheatley, 1996. " Migration Theories and Evidence: An Assessment," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 10(2), pages 159-98, June.
  30. repec:fth:prinin:343 is not listed on IDEAS
  31. Richard Jackman & S Savouri, 1992. "Regional Migration versus Regional Commuting: The Identification of Housing and Employment Flows," CEP Discussion Papers dp0057, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
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Cited by:
  1. Robert Rowthorn, 2005. "Combined and Uneven Development: Reflections on the North-South Divide," ESRC Centre for Business Research - Working Papers wp305, ESRC Centre for Business Research.
  2. van de Ven, J., 2001. "Simulating Cohort Earnings for Australia," Department of Economics - Working Papers Series 780, The University of Melbourne.
  3. Victor Montuenga & Inmaculada Garcia, 2011. "The wage dynamics in Spain: evidence from individual data," ERSA conference papers ersa11p585, European Regional Science Association.

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