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Unemployment in Britain: A European Success Story

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  • Christopher A. Pissarides

Abstract

Unemployment in Britain has fallen from high European-style levels to US levels. I argue that the key reasons are first the reform of monetary policy, in 1993 with the adoption of inflation targeting and in 1997 with the establishment of the independent Monetary Policy Committee, and second the decline of trade union power. I interpret the reform of monetary policy as an institutional change that reduced inflationary expectations in the face of falling unemployment. The decline of trade union power contributed to the control of wage inflation. The major continental economies failed to match UK performance because of institutional rigidities, despite low inflation expectations.

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  • Christopher A. Pissarides, 2003. "Unemployment in Britain: A European Success Story," CEP Discussion Papers dp0600, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  • Handle: RePEc:cep:cepdps:dp0600
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    Cited by:

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    2. Carrillo-Tudela, Carlos & Hobijn, Bart & She, Powen & Visschers, Ludo, 2016. "The extent and cyclicality of career changes: Evidence for the U.K," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 84(C), pages 18-41.
    3. Sergio Destefanis & Giuseppe Mastromatteo, 2015. "The Beveridge Curve in the OECD Before and After the Crisis," Discussion Papers 4_2015, CRISEI, University of Naples "Parthenope", Italy.
    4. Carlos Carrillo-Tudela & Bart Hobijn & Powen She & Ludo Visschers, 2014. "The Extent and Cyclicality of Career Changes: Evidence for the UK (first version)," Edinburgh School of Economics Discussion Paper Series 246, Edinburgh School of Economics, University of Edinburgh.
    5. Leuze, Kathrin, 2010. "Smooth Path or Long and Winding Road? How Institutions Shape the Transition from Higher Education to Work," EconStor Books, ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, number 251573, May.
    6. Michael W. L. Elsby & Bart Hobijn & Ayşegül Şahin, 2013. "Unemployment Dynamics in the OECD," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 95(2), pages 530-548, May.
    7. Crowe, Christopher, 2005. "Macroeconomic assessment: interest rates, taxes and spending," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 57993, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    8. Christopher Crowe, 2005. "Macroeconomic Assessment: Interest Rates, Taxes and Spending," CEP Election Analysis Papers 003, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    9. Jorge Belaire-Franch & Amado Peiró, 2015. "Asymmetry in the relationship between unemployment and the business cycle," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 48(2), pages 683-697, March.
    10. Gábor Pintér, 2019. "House Prices and Job Losses," The Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 129(618), pages 991-1013.
    11. Peiró, Amado & Belaire-Franch, Jorge & Gonzalo, Maria Teresa, 2012. "Unemployment, cycle and gender," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 34(4), pages 1167-1175.
    12. Hobijn, Bart & Sahin, Aysegül, 2009. "Job-finding and separation rates in the OECD," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 104(3), pages 107-111, September.
    13. Mirela Ionela Aceleanu & Andreea Claudia Serban & Cristina Burghelea, 2015. "“Greening” the Youth Employment—A Chance for Sustainable Development," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 7(3), pages 1-21, March.
    14. Carrillo-Tudela, Carlos & Hobijn, Bart & She, Powen & Visschers, Ludo, 2015. "The Extent and Cyclicality of Career Changes: Evidence for the UK," 2007 Annual Meeting, July 29-August 1, 2007, Portland, Oregon TN 2015-52, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    unemployment in UK; monetary policy; Beveridge curve; Phillips curve;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E5 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit
    • J5 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining
    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search

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