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Le taux de chômage d'équilibre, anciennes et nouvelles approches

Listed author(s):
  • Henri Sterdyniak
  • Hervé Le Bihan
  • Philippine Cour
  • Henri Delessy

[eng] In each country, there exists an equilibrium rate of unemployment, determined by wage bargaining features and labour market functioning, below which the rate of inflation accelerates. Two alternative approaches have been developed to define and to evaluate this equilibrium rate. According to the Phillips curve, which is based on empirical and macroeconomic works, the Non Accelerating Inflation Rate of Unemployment only depends on the trend of labour productivity. The NAIRU is relatively steady ; economie policy cannot make it decrease. The lower trend of labour productivity explains a significant part of the increase in European equilibrium rates of unemployment ; however, the latter are currently undoubtedly below effective rates of unemployment. According to the « new unemployment theories », which are based on theoretical and microeconomic works, the equilibrium rate of unemployment is determined by the intersection of Wage-Setting and Price-Setting curves, and is influenced by ail the variables which play a part in wages and priees formation (social contributions rates, real interest rates, minimum wage, trade unions power, unemployment benefits, terms of trade, etc.). The equilibrium rate of unemployment is then influenced by economie policy and may fluctuate. The effective unemployment rate is always close to the equilibrium one. However, the existence and the features of the real wage target that are postulated by this approach, set many theoretical and empirical problems. Considering both the results of previous empirical works and those of our own estimations, the robustness of the « new approach » is not set up. The traditional approach of the Phillips curve is still relevant. [fre] Dans chaque pays, en raison des caractéristiques des négociations salariales et du fonctionnement du marché du travail, il existe un niveau de chômage d'équilibre, en deçà duquel apparaissent des hausses de salaires excessives, donc une hausse de l'inflation. Deux approches rivales ont été développées pour définir et évaluer le taux de chômage d'équilibre. Selon la courbe de Phillips, d'inspiration empirique et macroéconomique, le taux de chômage d'équilibre de long terme (le NAIRUj n'est influencé que par l'évolution tendancielle de la productivité du travail ; il est relativement stable ; la politique économique ne peut guère le faire diminuer. Le ralentissement de la productivité explique une part importante de la hausse des taux de chômage d'équilibre en Europe ; cependant, ceux-ci sont actuellement nettement inférieurs aux taux de chômage effectif. Selon les « nouvelles théories du chômage », d'inspiration microéconomique et théorique, le taux de chômage d'équilibre, obtenu par l'intersection des courbes WS et PS, dépend de toutes les variables qui jouent sur la formation des prix et des salaires (taux de cotisations sociales, termes de l'échange, taux d'intérêt, salaire minimum, poids des syndicats, taux des prestations chômage, etc.) ; il est donc influencé par la politique économique et varie au cours du temps ; le taux de chômage effectif reste toujours proche du taux de chômage d'équilibre. Toutefois, l'existence et les déterminants d'un salaire réel cible postulé par cette approche posent de délicats problèmes théoriques et empiriques. Au vu d'un survol des travaux empiriques existants et de nos propres estimations, la robustesse des « nouvelles approches » n'est pas établie. Le cadre d'analyse associé à la courbe de Phillips traditionnelle nous paraît conserver toute sa pertinence.

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Article provided by Programme National Persée in its journal Revue de l'OFCE.

Volume (Year): 60 (1997)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 147-186

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Handle: RePEc:prs:rvofce:ofce_0751-6614_1997_num_60_1_1448
Note: DOI:10.3406/ofce.1997.1448
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  1. Jérôme Creel & Henri Sterdyniak, 1995. "Les déficits publics en Europe : causes, conséquences ou remèdes à la crise ?," Revue de l'OFCE, Programme National Persée, vol. 54(1), pages 57-100.
  2. Setterfield, M. A. & Gordon, D. V. & Osberg, L., 1992. "Searching for a will o' the wisp : An empirical study of the NAIRU in Canada," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 119-136, January.
  3. Equipe MIMOSA & Henri Delessy & Henri Sterdyniak & Bruno Coquet & Philippine Cour & Hervé Le Bihan & Frédéric Lerais & Frédéric Busson & John Baude & Bernard Châtelain & Murielle Fiole, 1996. "La nouvelle version de MIMOSA, modèle de l'économie mondiale," Revue de l'OFCE, Programme National Persée, vol. 58(1), pages 103-155.
  4. 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.
  5. Henri Sterdyniak & Michèle Debonneuil, 1984. "La boucle prix-salaires dans l'inflation," Revue Économique, Programme National Persée, vol. 35(2), pages 267-312.
  6. Jørgen Elmeskov, 1993. "High and Persistent Unemployment: Assessment of the Problem and Its Causes," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 132, OECD Publishing.
  7. Shapiro, Carl & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1984. "Equilibrium Unemployment as a Worker Discipline Device," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(3), pages 433-444, June.
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