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Unemployment and Labor Market Rigidities: Europe versus North America

  • Stephen Nickell

The received wisdom tells us that the rigidity and inflexibility of European job markets relative to that in the United States is the reason why Europe has high unemployment. This paper argues that this broad brush analysis is simply too vague to be useful. Indeed it is probably positively misleading. Many labor market institutions that conventionally come under the heading of rigidities have no observable impact on unemployment and may otherwise serve a useful purpose.

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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/jep.11.3.55
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Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal Journal of Economic Perspectives.

Volume (Year): 11 (1997)
Issue (Month): 3 (Summer)
Pages: 55-74

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Handle: RePEc:aea:jecper:v:11:y:1997:i:3:p:55-74
Note: DOI: 10.1257/jep.11.3.55
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  1. repec:fth:inseep:9652 is not listed on IDEAS
  2. John M. Abowd & Francis Kramarz & Thomas Lemieux & David N. Margolis, 1997. "Minimum Wages and Youth Employment in France and the United States," NBER Working Papers 6111, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Richard Jackman & Richard Layard & Stephen Nickell, 1996. "Combatting Unemployment: Is Flexibility Enough?," CEP Discussion Papers dp0293, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  4. David Card & Francis Kramarz & Thomas Lemieux, 1996. "Changes in the Relative Structure of Wages and Employment: A Comparison of the United States, Canada, and France," NBER Working Papers 5487, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Layard, Richard & Nickell, Stephen & Jackman, Richard, 2005. "Unemployment: Macroeconomic Performance and the Labour Market," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199279173, March.
  6. Nickell, Stephen & Bell, Brian, 1995. "The Collapse in Demand for the Unskilled and Unemployment across the OECD," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 11(1), pages 40-62, Spring.
  7. Blanchflower, David G & Oswald, Andrew J, 1990. " The Wage Curve," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 92(2), pages 215-35.
    • David G. Blanchflower & Andrew J. Oswald, 1995. "The Wage Curve," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 026202375x, June.
  8. Lazear, Edward P, 1990. "Job Security Provisions and Employment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 105(3), pages 699-726, August.
  9. Meyer, Bruce D, 1990. "Unemployment Insurance and Unemployment Spells," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(4), pages 757-82, July.
  10. Richard B. Freeman, 1995. "Are Your Wages Set in Beijing?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(3), pages 15-32, Summer.
  11. Bean, C R & Layard, P R G & Nickell, S J, 1986. "The Rise in Unemployment: A Multi-country Study," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 53(210(S)), pages S1-22, Supplemen.
  12. Nickell, Stephen & Bell, Brian, 1996. "Changes in the Distribution of Wages and Unemployment in OECD Countries," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(2), pages 302-08, May.
  13. Narendranathan, W & Nickell, S & Stern, J, 1985. "Unemployment Benefits Revisited," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 95(378), pages 307-29, June.
  14. Nickell, Stephen, 2001. " The Labour Market Consequences of Technical and Structural Change: Introduction," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 63(0), pages 617-27, Special I.
  15. Bentolila, Samuel & Bertola, Giuseppe, 1990. "Firing Costs and Labour Demand: How Bad Is Eurosclerosis?," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 57(3), pages 381-402, July.
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