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Capital accumulation, labour market institutions and unemployment in the medium run

  • Engelbert Stockhammer
  • Erik Klär

According to the mainstream view, labour market institutions (LMIs) are the key determinants of unemployment in the medium run. The actual empirical explanatory power of measures for labour market institutions, however, has recently been called into question. The Keynesian view holds periods of high real interest rates and insufficient capital accumulation responsible for unemployment. Empirical work in this tradition has paid little attention to the role of LMIs. This paper contributes to the debate by highlighting the role of autonomous changes in capital accumulation as a macroeconomic shock. In the empirical analysis, medium-term unemployment is explained by capital accumulation, LMIs and a number of macroeconomic shocks in a panel analysis covering 20 OECD countries. The economic effects of changes in LMI, variations in capital accumulation and other macro shocks are compared. Capital accumulation and the real interest rate are found to have statistically significant effects that are robust to the inclusion of control variables and show larger effects than LMI. Copyright The Author 2010. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Cambridge Political Economy Society. All rights reserved., Oxford University Press.

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Article provided by Oxford University Press in its journal Cambridge Journal of Economics.

Volume (Year): 35 (2011)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages: 437-457

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Handle: RePEc:oup:cambje:v:35:y:2011:i:2:p:437-457
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