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Jobless growth ? Okun's law in East Asia

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  • Hanusch, Marek
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    Abstract

    Was economic growth in East Asia jobless? This paper addresses this question using data from eight East Asian countries during the period between 1997 and 2011 to estimate the Okun's Law Coefficient, which captures the relationship between growth and employment. The analysis suggests that growth was not jobless. However, there is considerable variation across countries. Generally, the effect of growth on employment tends to magnify under more flexible hiring and firing rules. Yet even where labor markets are more tightly regulated, economic growth affects employment, not necessarily in the aggregate but in its composition. There is evidence that agricultural employment moves counter-cyclically, as opposed to non-agricultural employment. The effect is particularly pronounced in periods of economic crisis, suggesting that agriculture may serve as a shock-absorber for workers laid off in the industrial sector. Isolating non-agricultural employment reveals a stronger relationship between growth and job creation.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 6156.

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    Date of creation: 01 Aug 2012
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    Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:6156

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    Keywords: Labor Markets; Labor Policies; Labor Management and Relations; Labor Standards; Work&Working Conditions;

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    1. Cazes, Sandrine & Verick, Sher & Al Hussami, Fares, 2011. "Diverging trends in unemployment in the United States and Europe : evidence from Okun's law and the global financial crisis," ILO Working Papers 467629, International Labour Organization.
    2. Roger Perman & Christophe Tavera, 2005. "A cross-country analysis of the Okun's Law coefficient convergence in Europe," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 37(21), pages 2501-2513.
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