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Input Demand and the Short- and Long-Run Employment Thresholds: An Empirical Analysis for the German Manufacturing Sector

  • Gebhardt Flaig
  • Horst Rottmann

The concept of the 'employment threshold' plays an important role in the public discussion of unemployment. The employment threshold is defined as that growth rate of output necessary to keep employment constant despite the continuous rise in productivity. It is related to the Okun coefficient which describes the relationship between the changes in output and unemployment. Many contributions to this debate give the impression that the employment threshold is more or less a structural characteristic independent of economic variables. In this paper we derive short- and long-run employment thresholds from an input demand system and show empirically that they depend on factor prices and capital accumulation. Higher wage rates raise the employment threshold and reduce the probability that a positive output shock will increase employment. Copyright Verein fü Socialpolitik and Blackwell Publishers Ltd 2001.

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Article provided by Verein für Socialpolitik in its journal German Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 2 (2001)
Issue (Month): 4 (November)
Pages: 367-384

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Handle: RePEc:bla:germec:v:2:y:2001:i:4:p:367-384
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  1. McFadden, Daniel, 1978. "Cost, Revenue, and Profit Functions," Histoy of Economic Thought Chapters, in: Fuss, Melvyn & McFadden, Daniel (ed.), Production Economics: A Dual Approach to Theory and Applications, volume 1, chapter 1 McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought.
  2. Falk, Martin & Koebel, Bertrand M., 1997. "The Demand of Heterogeneous Labour in Germany," ZEW Discussion Papers 97-28, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  3. Blinder, Alan S, 1997. "Is There a Core of Practical Macroeconomics That We Should All Believe?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(2), pages 240-43, May.
  4. Lau, Lawrence J., 1978. "Applications of Profit Functions," Histoy of Economic Thought Chapters, in: Fuss, Melvyn & McFadden, Daniel (ed.), Production Economics: A Dual Approach to Theory and Applications, volume 1, chapter 3 McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought.
  5. Weiss, Andrew A., 1984. "Systematic sampling and temporal aggregation in time series models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 26(3), pages 271-281, December.
  6. Berndt, Ernst R. & Hesse, Dieter M., 1986. "Measuring and assessing capacity utilization in the manufacturing sectors of nine oecd countries," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(5), pages 961-989, October.
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