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The Natural Rate of Unemployment

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  • Cross,Rod Preface by-Name:Blanchard,Olivier

Abstract

For 25 years, theory about the causes of, and possible solutions to, the problem of unemployment has been dominated by Phelps' and Friedman's natural rate of unemployment hypothesis. This postulates that the equilibrium rate of unemployment consistent with steady inflation is determined by structural variables: sustainable reductions in unemployment can be achieved only by measures to change underlying microeconomic structures, such as benefit and pay bargaining systems. Belief in the hypothesis has faltered since the 1980s, the hypothesis being unable to explain the dramatic upward shifts in European unemployment rates. These essays reflect upon the fundamental structures underlying the hypothesis, assess the related evidence, and look forwards, suggesting possible modifications. In contrast to the single rate postulated by the natural rate hypothesis, several of the contributors propose that there are ranges of unemployment rates consistent with steady inflation.

Suggested Citation

  • Cross,Rod Preface by-Name:Blanchard,Olivier (ed.), 1995. "The Natural Rate of Unemployment," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521483308, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:cup:cbooks:9780521483308
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    Cited by:

    1. Rod Cross & Hugh McNamara & Alexei Pokrovskii, 2012. "Memory of recessions," Journal of Post Keynesian Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 34(3), pages 413-430.
    2. Rod Cross & Julia Darby & Jonathan Ireland, 1997. "Uncertainties Surrounding Natural Rate Estimates in the G7," Working Papers 9712, Business School - Economics, University of Glasgow.
    3. M. Demertzis & A. Hughes Hallett, 2000. "Wage Inflation and the Distribution of Output Gaps in Europe: Insiders vs. Outsiders," WO Research Memoranda (discontinued) 631, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
    4. Dany Lang & Christian de Peretti, 2009. "A strong hysteretic model of Okun's Law: theory and a preliminary investigation," International Review of Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 23(4), pages 445-462.
    5. Demertzis, Maria & Hallett, Andrew Hughes, 1998. "Asymmetric transmission mechanisms and the rise in European unemployment: A case of structural differences or of policy failures?," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 22(6), pages 869-886, June.
    6. Demertzis, Maria & Hughes Hallett, Andrew & Schermer, Nicolien, 2009. "Europeanization or globalization? Transnational wage bargaining and the distribution of activity in European labor markets," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 177-192, August.

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