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Why Is French Equilibrium Unemployment So High? An Estimation of the WS-PS Model

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  • L'Horty, Yannick
  • Rault, Christophe

Abstract

Unemployment in France rose steadily from the early-seventies to the mid-eighties. Since the mid-eighties it has continued to experience fluctuations around a very high average level. Equilibrium unemployment theories are a useful framework within which to account for these developments. A multivariate estimation of the WS-PS model on macroeconomic quarterly data, which includes a larger number of potential unemployment determinants than earlier work, allows an enriched reading of the rise in French unemployment and of its persistence at a high level. We estimated it using a conditional VAR-ECM model, which is based upon the weak exogeneity properties of variables over the 1970-1/1996-4 period. The rise in equilibrium unemployment by 10 points in 25 years can essentially be explained by the rise in tax and social wedge, the slowdown in labour productivity and the deterioration of job security. Terms of exchange and skill mismatch account for only a slim part of the rise in equilibrium unemployment.

Suggested Citation

  • L'Horty, Yannick & Rault, Christophe, 2003. "Why Is French Equilibrium Unemployment So High? An Estimation of the WS-PS Model," Journal of Applied Economics, Universidad del CEMA, vol. 6(1), pages 1-30, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:jaecon:44062
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. repec:ipg:wpaper:2014-481 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Nidhaleddine Ben Cheikh & Christophe Rault, 2016. "Recent estimates of exchange rate pass-through to import prices in the euro area," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 152(1), pages 69-105, February.
    3. Frédéric Reynès, 2010. "The Phillips curve as a more general model than the Wage Setting curve," Documents de Travail de l'OFCE 2010-28, Observatoire Francais des Conjonctures Economiques (OFCE).
    4. Holmlund, Bertil & Alexius, Annika, 2008. "Monetary Policy and Swedish Unemployment Fluctuations," Economics - The Open-Access, Open-Assessment E-Journal, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW), vol. 2, pages 1-25.
    5. Kees Folmer, 2009. "Why do macro wage elasticities diverge? A meta analysis," CPB Discussion Paper 122, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
    6. Ekrame Boubtane & Dramane Coulibaly & Christophe Rault, 2013. "Immigration, Growth, and Unemployment: Panel VAR Evidence from OECD Countries," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 27(4), pages 399-420, December.
    7. Arouri, Mohamed El Hedi & Ben Youssef, Adel & M'henni, Hatem & Rault, Christophe, 2014. "Exploring the Causality Links between Energy and Employment in African Countries," IZA Discussion Papers 8296, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    8. Nidhaleddine Ben Cheikh & Christophe Rault, 2017. "Investigating first-stage exchange rate pass-through: Sectoral and macro evidence from euro area countries," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(12), pages 2611-2638, December.
    9. Kees Folmer, 2009. "Why do macro wage elasticities diverge?," CPB Memorandum 224, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
    10. Farhani, Sahbi & Mrizak, Sana & Chaibi, Anissa & Rault, Christophe, 2014. "The environmental Kuznets curve and sustainability: A panel data analysis," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 71(C), pages 189-198.
    11. Mohamed El Hedi Arouri & Adel Ben Youssef & Hatem M'Henni & Christophe Rault, 2014. "Energy use and economic growth in Africa: a panel Granger-causality investigation," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 34(2), pages 1247-1258.
    12. Odile Chagny & Frédéric Reynès & Henri Sterdyniak, 2002. "Le taux de chômage d'équilibre. Discussion théorique et évaluation empirique," Revue de l'OFCE, Presses de Sciences-Po, vol. 81(2), pages 205-244.
    13. Guglielmo Maria Caporale & Christophe Rault & Robert Sova & Anamaria Sova, 2009. "Financial Development and Economic Growth: Evidence from Ten New EU Members," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 940, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    14. Odile Chagny & Frédéric Reynés & Henri Sterdyniak, 2002. "The equilibrium rate of unemployment : a theoretical discussion and an empirical evaluation for six OECD countries," Sciences Po publications n°2002-04, Sciences Po.
    15. repec:ipg:wpaper:2014-475 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Labor and Human Capital;

    JEL classification:

    • C32 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Time-Series Models; Dynamic Quantile Regressions; Dynamic Treatment Effect Models; Diffusion Processes; State Space Models
    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity

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