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Unemployment and Hours of Work: The North Atlantic Divide Revisited

  • Christopher A. Pissarides

I examine the dynamic evolutions of unemployment, hours of work and the service share since the war in the United States and Europe. The theoretical model brings together all three and emphasizes technological growth. Computations show that the very low unemployment in Europe in the 1960s was due to the high productivity growth associated with technological catch-up. Productivity also played a role in the dynamics of hours but a full explanation for the fast rise of service employment and the big fall in aggregate hours needs further research. Taxation has played a role but results are mixed.

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Paper provided by Centre for Economic Performance, LSE in its series CEP Discussion Papers with number dp0757.

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Date of creation: Oct 2006
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Handle: RePEc:cep:cepdps:dp0757
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://cep.lse.ac.uk/_new/publications/series.asp?prog=CEP

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  1. Garey Ramey & Wouter J. den Haan & Joel Watson, 2000. "Job Destruction and Propagation of Shocks," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(3), pages 482-498, June.
  2. Neville Francis & Valerie A. Ramey, 2005. "A Century of Work and Leisure," 2005 Meeting Papers 250, Society for Economic Dynamics.
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  4. Burcu Eyigungor, 2010. "Specific Capital and Vintage Effects on the Dynamics of Unemployment and Vacancies," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(3), pages 1214-37, June.
  5. Dale T. Mortensen & Christopher A. Pissarides, 1993. "Job Creation and Job Destruction in the Theory of Unemployment," CEP Discussion Papers dp0110, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  6. James Ted McDonald & Christopher Worswick, 1999. "Wages, Implicit Contracts, and the Business Cycle: Evidence from Canadian Micro Data," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(4), pages 884-913, August.
  7. Barro, Robert J., 1977. "Long-term contracting, sticky prices, and monetary policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(3), pages 305-316, July.
  8. Michael W. Elsby & Ryan Michaels & Gary Solon, 2007. "The Ins and Outs of Cyclical Unemployment," NBER Working Papers 12853, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Michael U. Krause & Thomas A. Lubik, 2010. "On-the-job search and the cyclical dynamics of the labor market," Working Paper 10-12, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
  10. James Costain & Michael Reiter, 2005. "Business Cycles, Unemployment Insurance and the Calibration of Matching Models," Working Papers 215, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
  11. Edward C. Prescott, 2004. "Why Do Americans Work So Much More Than Europeans?," Levine's Bibliography 122247000000000413, UCLA Department of Economics.
  12. Pissarides, Christopher A, 1994. "Search Unemployment with On-the-Job Search," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 61(3), pages 457-75, July.
  13. repec:dgr:kubcen:200492 is not listed on IDEAS
  14. Robert Shimer, 2012. "Reassessing the Ins and Outs of Unemployment," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 15(2), pages 127-148, April.
  15. Anabela Carneiro & Pedro Portugal, 2004. "Workers' Flows and Real Wage Cyclicality," CEF.UP Working Papers 0402, Universidade do Porto, Faculdade de Economia do Porto.
  16. Rebecca Blank, 1987. "Why Are Wages Cyclical in the 1970's?," Working Papers 604, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  17. A Brandolini, 1993. "In Search of a Stylised Fact: Do Real Wages Exhibit a Consistent Pattern of Cyclical Variability?," CEP Discussion Papers dp0112, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  18. Leena Rudanko, 2008. "Labor Market Dynamics under Long Term Wage Contracting," Boston University - Department of Economics - Working Papers Series wp2008-003, Boston University - Department of Economics.
  19. David Card, 1995. "The Wage Curve: A Review," Working Papers 722, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  20. Baily, Martin Neil, 1974. "Wages and Employment under Uncertain Demand," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 41(1), pages 37-50, January.
  21. Bils, Mark J, 1985. "Real Wages over the Business Cycle: Evidence from Panel Data," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(4), pages 666-89, August.
  22. Barbara Petrongolo & Christopher Pissarides, 2000. "Looking into the black box: a survey of the matching function," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 2122, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  23. Eran Yashiv, 2005. "Evaluating the Performance of the Search and Matching Model," CEP Discussion Papers dp0677, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  24. Darren Grant, 2003. "The effect of implicit contracts on the movement of wages over the business cycle: Evidence from the national longitudinal surveys," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 56(3), pages 393-408, April.
  25. Robert Shimer, 2004. "The Consequences of Rigid Wages in Search Models," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 2(2-3), pages 469-479, 04/05.
  26. Leandro Arozamena & Mário Centeno, 2001. "Tenure, Business Cycle and the Wage-Setting Process," Working Papers w200108, Banco de Portugal, Economics and Research Department.
  27. Peng, Fei & Siebert, W. Stanley, 2007. "Real Wage Cyclicality in Germany and the UK: New Results Using Panel Data," IZA Discussion Papers 2688, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  28. Pissarides, Christopher A, 1985. "Short-run Equilibrium Dynamics of Unemployment Vacancies, and Real Wages," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(4), pages 676-90, September.
  29. Pissarides, Christopher & Vallanti, Giovanna, 2005. "The Impact of TFP Growth on Steady-State Unemployment," CEPR Discussion Papers 5002, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  30. Gary Solon & Robert Barsky & Jonathan A. Parker, 1992. "Measuring the Cyclicality of Real Wages: How Important is Composition Bias," NBER Working Papers 4202, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  31. Merz, Monika, 1995. "Search in the labor market and the real business cycle," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 269-300, November.
  32. Christopher A. Pissarides, 2000. "Equilibrium Unemployment Theory, 2nd Edition," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262161877, June.
  33. Helge Braun & Reinout De Bock & Riccardo DiCecio, 2006. "Aggregate shocks and labor market fluctuations," Working Papers 2006-004, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  34. Azariadis, Costas, 1975. "Implicit Contracts and Underemployment Equilibria," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 83(6), pages 1183-1202, December.
  35. Richard Rogerson, 2006. "Structural Transformation and the Labor Market," 2006 Meeting Papers 256, Society for Economic Dynamics.
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