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Vicious And Virtuous Circles – The Political Economy Of Unemployment

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  • Patrick Minford
  • Ruthira Naraidoo

Abstract

We develop an empirical non‐linear model of equilibrium unemployment and test its policy implications for a number of OECD countries. The model here sees the natural rate and the associated equilibrium path of unemployment as endogenous, pushed by the interaction of shocks and the institutional structure of the economy; the channel through which these two forces feed on each other is a political economy process whereby voters with “limited information” on the natural rate of unemployment react to shocks by demanding more or less social protection. The reduced form results from a dozen OECD economies give support to the model prediction of a pattern of unemployment behaviour in which unemployment moves between high and low equilibria in response to shocks and the model specification is superior in forecasting performance out of sample to alternative models of “generalised hysteresis”.

Suggested Citation

  • Patrick Minford & Ruthira Naraidoo, 2010. "Vicious And Virtuous Circles – The Political Economy Of Unemployment," South African Journal of Economics, Economic Society of South Africa, vol. 78(1), pages 1-22, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:sajeco:v:78:y:2010:i:1:p:1-22
    DOI: 10.1111/j.1813-6982.2010.01235.x
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    Cited by:

    1. Matthews, Kent & Minford, Patrick & Naraidoo, Ruthira, 2008. "Vicious and virtuous circles -- The political economy of unemployment in interwar UK and USA," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 24(3), pages 605-614, September.
    2. Yu-Fu Chen & Michael Funke, 2003. "Labour Demand in Germany: An Assessment of Non- Wage Labour Costs," Dundee Discussion Papers in Economics 154, Economic Studies, University of Dundee.
    3. Naveen Srinivasan & Pratik Mitra, 2014. "The European unemployment problem: its cause and cure," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 47(1), pages 57-73, August.
    4. Franchi, Massimo & Ordóñez, Javier, 2011. "Multiple equilibria in Spanish unemployment," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 71-80, February.
    5. Yu‐Fu Chen & Michael Funke, 2005. "Non‐Wage Labour Costs, Policy Uncertainty And Labour Demand – A Theoretical Assessment," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 52(5), pages 687-709, November.
    6. Norbert Berthold & Rainer Fehn, 2003. "Unemployment in Germany: Reasons and Remedies," CESifo Working Paper Series 871, CESifo.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • E27 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Forecasting and Simulation: Models and Applications
    • P16 - Political Economy and Comparative Economic Systems - - Capitalist Economies - - - Capitalist Institutions; Welfare State

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