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The Natural Rate of Unemployment


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


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, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:cup:cbooks:9780521483308

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Prebisch, Raúl, 1950. "The economic development of Latin America and its principal problems," Sede de la CEPAL en Santiago (Estudios e Investigaciones) 29973, Naciones Unidas Comisión Económica para América Latina y el Caribe (CEPAL).
    2. Justin Yifu Lin, 2011. "New Structural Economics: A Framework for Rethinking Development," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 26(2), pages 193-221, August.
    3. Justin Yifu Lin, 2012. "New Structural Economics : A Framework for Rethinking Development and Policy," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 2232.
    4. Lin, Justin Yifu, 2003. "Development Strategy, Viability, and Economic Convergence," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 51(2), pages 276-308, January.
    5. Dirk Willem te Velde & Justin Lin & Célestin Monga & Suresh D. Tendulkar & Alice Amsden & K. Y. Amoako & Howard Pack & Wonhyuk Lim, 2011. "DPR Debate: Growth Identification and Facilitation: The Role of the State in the Dynamics of Structural Change," Development Policy Review, Overseas Development Institute, vol. 29(3), pages 259-310, May.
    6. Lin, Justin Yifu, 1992. "Rural Reforms and Agricultural Growth in China," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(1), pages 34-51, March.
    7. Gene M. Grossman & Elhanan Helpman, 1996. "Electoral Competition and Special Interest Politics," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 63(2), pages 265-286.
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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. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. Rod Cross & Julia Darby & Jonathan Ireland, 1997. "Uncertainties Surrounding Natural Rate Estimates in the G7," Working Papers 9712, Business School - Economics, University of Glasgow.
    5. 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.

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