Explaining European Unemployment: Testing the NAIRU Hypothesis and a Keynesian Approach
The aim of the paper is to compare the NAIRU hypothesis regarding European unemployment and a Keynesian approach to the issue and to evaluate them econometrically. For the NAIRU explanation, wage push variables are key in explaining the rise of European unemployment, for a Keynesian approach it is capital accumulation that is key. The theories are tested using time series data for Germany, France, Italy, the UK and the USA, using the seemingly unrelated regression method (SUR). Unemployment benefits, union density and the tax wedge are used as wage push variables, and the growth of business capital stock as the accumulation variable. The NAIRU specification performs poorly, with only the tax wedge having a positive effect on unemployment as predicted and only unemployment benefits having a negative effect on employment growth. However the results are not robust to changes in the specification. The Keynesian approach is more successful, with capital accumulation being statistically significant in all countries and robust to changes in the specification. Moreover, it can be pooled across countries.
Volume (Year): 18 (2004)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
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