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The NAIRU determinants: What’s structural about unemployment in Europe?

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  • Heimberger, Philipp
  • Kapeller, Jakob
  • Schütz, Bernhard

Abstract

This paper analyzes the determinants of the European Commission’s estimates of the non-accelerating inflation rate of unemployment (NAIRU) for 14 European countries during 1985–2012. The NAIRU is a poor proxy for ‘structural unemployment’. Labor market institutions – employment protection legislation, union density, tax wedge, minimum wages – underperform in explaining the NAIRU, while cyclical variables – capital accumulation and boom-bust patterns in housing markets – play an important role. This finding is policy-relevant since the NAIRU is used to compute potential output and structural budget balances and, hence, has a direct impact on scope and evaluation of fiscal policies in Europe.

Suggested Citation

  • Heimberger, Philipp & Kapeller, Jakob & Schütz, Bernhard, 2017. "The NAIRU determinants: What’s structural about unemployment in Europe?," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 39(5), pages 883-908.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jpolmo:v:39:y:2017:i:5:p:883-908
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jpolmod.2017.04.003
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    Cited by:

    1. Kapeller, Jakob & Gräbner, Claudius & Heimberger, Philipp, 2019. "Economic polarisation in Europe: Causes and policy options," ifso working paper series 5, University of Duisburg-Essen, Institute for Socioeconomics (ifso).
    2. Engelbert Stockhammer & Rob Calvert Jump, 2022. "An Estimation of Unemployment Hysteresis," Working Papers PKWP2221, Post Keynesian Economics Society (PKES).
    3. Max Krahé & Florian Schuster & Philippa Sigl-Glöckner, 2021. "Wird die Konjunkturkomponente der Schuldenbremse ihrer Aufgabe noch gerecht? [Is the Cyclical Component of the Debt Brake Still Up to Its Task?]," Wirtschaftsdienst, Springer;ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, vol. 101(8), pages 621-628, August.
    4. Botta, Alberto & Tippet, Ben, 2020. "The roots of a divided eurozone: rigid labour markets or asymmetric technology-macroeconomic regimes?," Greenwich Papers in Political Economy 30958, University of Greenwich, Greenwich Political Economy Research Centre.
    5. Franziska Foissner, 2018. "Folgen einer moeglichen Abschaffung der Notstandshilfe in Oberoesterreich," ICAE Working Papers 87, Johannes Kepler University, Institute for Comprehensive Analysis of the Economy.
    6. Philipp Heimberger & Bernhard Schütz, 2022. "Evaluierung des Zusammenhangs von Produktionspotenzial und Budgetsemielastizität im Rahmen der deutschen Schuldenbremse," wiiw Research Reports in German language 22, The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw.
    7. Daniel HERRERO & Luis CÁRDENAS & Julián LÓPEZ GALLEGO, 2020. "Does deregulation decrease unemployment? An empirical analysis of the Spanish labour market," International Labour Review, International Labour Organization, vol. 159(3), pages 367-396, September.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Unemployment; Fiscal policy; Labor market institutions; Potential output; NAIRU;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C54 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Quantitative Policy Modeling
    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy; Modern Monetary Theory

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