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Demographic and education effects on unemployment in Europe

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  • Biagi, Federico
  • Lucifora, Claudio

Abstract

We analyse the effects of demographic and education changes on unemployment rates in Europe. Using a panel of European countries for the 1975-2002 period - disaggregated by cohort and education - we empirically test the economic effects of the "baby bust" and the "education boom". We find that structural shifts in the population age structure play an important role and that a significant share of variation in unemployment rates is also attributable to educational changes, the latter being usually neglected in aggregate studies. Results show that demographic and education shocks are qualitatively different for young (adult) workers as well as for more (less) educated people. Changes in the population age structure are positively related to the unemployment rate of young workers, while have no effect on adults. Conversely, changes in the education structure show a negative effect on the unemployment of the more educated. Labour market institutions also influence unemployment rates in different ways. Employment protection for regular workers increases unemployment rates, while temporary employment provisions reduce it. Unemployment benefits are found to have a displacement effect on unemployment, while corporatism of wage bargaining improves employment performance.

Suggested Citation

  • Biagi, Federico & Lucifora, Claudio, 2008. "Demographic and education effects on unemployment in Europe," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(5), pages 1076-1101, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:labeco:v:15:y:2008:i:5:p:1076-1101
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    2. Amaral, Ernesto F. L. & Rios-Neto, Eduardo L G & Potter, Joseph E, 2012. "Long term influences of age-education transition on the Brazilian labour market," OSF Preprints 2e4f3, Center for Open Science.
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    13. Michaela Fuchs, 2016. "Unemployment decline in East Germany: the role of demography," Review of Regional Research: Jahrbuch für Regionalwissenschaft, Springer;Gesellschaft für Regionalforschung (GfR), vol. 36(2), pages 145-168, October.
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    15. Garloff, Alfred & Roth, Duncan, 2016. "Regional age structure and young workers' wages," IAB Discussion Paper 201606, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
    16. John Moffat & Duncan Roth, 2017. "Cohort size and youth labour-market outcomes in Europe," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 37(4), pages 2735-2740.
    17. Fuchs, Michaela & Weyh, Antje, 2014. "Demography and unemployment in East Germany : how close are the ties?," IAB Discussion Paper 201426, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
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