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Le Nairu en France : les insuffisances d'une courbe de Phillips

Listed author(s):
  • Yannick L'Horty
  • Florence Thibault

[fre] Le Nairu en France : les insuffisances d'une courbe de Phillips par Yannick L'Horty et Florence Thibault La courbe de Phillips a longtemps été un instrument privilégié pour expliquer le lien entre salaire et chômage. Le niveau du Nairu qui lui est implicite fournit en théorie un guide précieux pour la politique économique permettant d' apprécier l' opportunité respective d'une politique d'offre ou de demande. Cet article rappelle dans un premier temps les fondements donnés à cette relation et ses principaux enjeux. En second lieu, il discute ses insuffisances dans un contexte où le taux de chômage se maintient durablement à un niveau élevé et souligne a contrario les avantages d'une représentation de type courbe de salaire en niveau. À titre d'illustration, une évaluation du Nairu français a été réalisée sur la base d'une boucle prix-salaire standard spécifiée en taux de croissance et sans terme de rappel, c'est-à-dire conformément à la pratique traditionnelle des modélisateurs. Le Nairu ainsi évalué ne présente pas de tendance à la hausse depuis 1970. Combinaison linéaire de variables stationnaires, il est lui-même une variable stationnaire et fluctue autour d'une constante qui correspond par construction au niveau moyen du chômage effectif. On ne dispose donc pas d'une mesure fiable du chômage d'équilibre permettant de satisfaire l'objectif initial de Phillips qui était de fonder l'intervention de politique économique. [eng] The NAIRU in France: The Shortcomings of a Phillips Curve by Yannick L'Horty and Florence Thibault The Phillips curve has long been the preferred instrument for explaining the link between wages and unemployment. Its implicit NAIRU level theoretically provides a valuable guide for economic policy in that it can be used to assess the respective opportunities of supply policy and demand policy. The article opens with a review of this relation's given bases and its main implications. It then discusses its shortcomings in a situation where the unemployment rate remains sustainably high and goes on to highlight the advantages of a wage curve representation in level. As an example, an evaluation of the French NAIRU is made based on a standard price- wage loop specified in terms of growth rates without an error correction term, i.e. in line with standard modeling practice. The NAIRU thus evaluated shows no upward trend since 1 970. As a linear combination of stationary variables, it is itself a stationary variable and fluctuates around a constant that by definition corresponds to the average level of actual unemployment. Consequently, no reliable measure of equilibrium unemployment can be found to satisfy Phillips' initial aim, which was to justify the intervention of economic policy.

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Article provided by Programme National Persée in its journal Économie & prévision.

Volume (Year): 127 (1997)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 83-99

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Handle: RePEc:prs:ecoprv:ecop_0249-4744_1997_num_127_1_5838
Note: DOI:10.3406/ecop.1997.5838
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  1. Olivier J. Blanchard & Lawrence H. Summers, 1986. "Hysteresis and the European Unemployment Problem," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1986, Volume 1, pages 15-90 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  8. Gordon, Robert J, 1989. "Hysteresis in History: Was There Ever a Phillips Curve?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(2), pages 220-225, May.
  9. Sargent, Thomas J, 1978. "Estimation of Dynamic Labor Demand Schedules under Rational Expectations," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(6), pages 1009-1044, December.
  10. Manning, Alan, 1993. "Wage Bargaining and the Phillips Curve: The Identification and Specification of Aggregate Wage Equations," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 103(416), pages 98-118, January.
  11. Alan Manning, 1992. "Productivity Growth, Wage Setting and the Equilibrium Rate of Unemployment," CEP Discussion Papers dp0063, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  12. Solow, Robert M, 1986. "Unemployment: Getting the Questions Right," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 53(210(S)), pages 23-34, Supplemen.
  13. Rod Cross, 2000. "Hysteresis and Emu," Metroeconomica, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 51(4), pages 367-379, November.
  14. Roy Cromb, 1993. "A Survey of Recent Econometric Work on the NAIRU," Journal of Economic Studies, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 20(1/2), pages 27-51, January.
  15. Lucas, Robert Jr, 1976. "Econometric policy evaluation: A critique," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 19-46, January.
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  17. Nickell, Stephen J, 1990. "Unemployment: A Survey," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 100(401), pages 391-439, June.
  18. Joyce, Michael & Wren-Lewis, Simon, 1991. "The Role of the Real Exchange Rate and Capacity Utilisation in Convergence to the Nairu," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 101(406), pages 497-507, May.
  19. Phelps, Edmund S, 1992. "A Review of Unemployment," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 30(3), pages 1476-1490, September.
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