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Productivity Growth, Wage Setting and the Equilibrium Rate of Unemployment

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  • Alan Manning

Abstract

This paper argues that one cannot tell a convincing story of the rise in OECD unemployment without mentioning the slowdown in productivity and real wage growth that occurred in the 1970s. It is argued that whereas most authors have regarded any effects of the slowdown on unemployment as temporary while "real wage resistance" is overcome, there is no theoretical reason to believe that this is the case. This point was illustrated using dynamic union bargaining model. This model also suggested that a Phillips Curve was appropriate as an empirical wage equation. For most OECD countries such a wage equation works well, and the slowdown in real wage growth does appear to have been important in explaining the rise in unemployment.

Suggested Citation

  • Alan Manning, 1992. "Productivity Growth, Wage Setting and the Equilibrium Rate of Unemployment," CEP Discussion Papers dp0063, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  • Handle: RePEc:cep:cepdps:dp0063
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    Cited by:

    1. Yu-Fu Chen & Dennis Snower & Gylfi Zoega, 2003. "Labour-market Institutions and Macroeconomic Shocks," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 17(2), pages 247-270, June.
    2. Edmund S. Phelps, 1998. "Designing a Capitalist Economy for Fast Growth and High Employment in Today's Globalized World Economy," Journal of Applied Economics, Universidad del CEMA, vol. 1, pages 87-103, November.
    3. Yannick L'Horty & Florence Thibault, 1997. "Le Nairu en France : les insuffisances d'une courbe de Phillips," Économie et Prévision, Programme National Persée, vol. 127(1), pages 83-99.
    4. Thomas Dalsgaard & Jørgen Elmeskov & Cyn-Young Park, 2002. "Ongoing changes in the business cycle - evidence and causes," SUERF Studies, SUERF - The European Money and Finance Forum, number 20 edited by Morten Balling.
    5. Arestis, Philip & Mariscal, Iris Biefang-Frisancho, 1998. "Capital shortages and asymmetries in UK unemployment," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 9(2), pages 189-204, June.
    6. Hoon, Hian Teck & Phelps, Edmund S., 1997. "Growth, wealth and the natural rate: Is Europe's jobs crisis a growth crisis?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 41(3-5), pages 549-557, April.
    7. Bruno Damásio & Diogo Martins, 2017. "Do Labour Market Reforms Pay Off? Unemployment and Capital Accumulation in Portugal," Working Papers Department of Economics 2017/01, ISEG - Lisbon School of Economics and Management, Department of Economics, Universidade de Lisboa.
    8. Baily, Martin Neil & Bartelsman, Eric J & Haltiwanger, John, 1996. "Downsizing and Productivity Growth: Myth or Reality?," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 8(4), pages 259-278, August.
    9. Gylfi Zoega, 2009. "Employment and Asset Prices," Birkbeck Working Papers in Economics and Finance 0917, Birkbeck, Department of Economics, Mathematics & Statistics.
    10. Campbell leith & Chol-Won Li, 2001. "Unemployment and the Productivity Slowdown: A Labour Supply Perspective," Working Papers 2001_13, Business School - Economics, University of Glasgow.
    11. Timothy J. Hatton, 2007. "Can Productivity Growth Explain the NAIRU? Long-Run Evidence from Britain, 1871-1999," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 74(295), pages 475-491, August.
    12. Roeger, Werner & Wijkander, Hans, 2000. "Unemployment in Europe: Swimming against the Tide of Skill-Biased Technical Progress without Relative Wage Adjustment," Research Papers in Economics 2000:9, Stockholm University, Department of Economics.
    13. António Afonso & André Albuquerque, 2017. "Sovereign Credit Rating Mismatches," Working Papers Department of Economics 2017/02, ISEG - Lisbon School of Economics and Management, Department of Economics, Universidade de Lisboa.

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