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The Un-Intended Convergence: How the Finnish Unemployment Reached the European Level

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  • Erkki Koskela
  • Roope Uusitalo

Abstract

The Finnish unemployment rose in the early 1990’s from three to eighteen percent in four years. Unemployment has then decreased to the average European level, being 8.5 percent in October 2002. In this paper, we describe the shocks leading to this unforeseen increase in unemployment. We then discuss the role of labour market institutions in the adjustment process that has brought unemployment back to ‘normal’ levels. We argue that these institutions cannot be blamed for the increase in unemployment, but that more flexible institutions could have lead to a more rapid decline in unemployment.

Suggested Citation

  • Erkki Koskela & Roope Uusitalo, 2003. "The Un-Intended Convergence: How the Finnish Unemployment Reached the European Level," CESifo Working Paper Series 878, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_878
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Burak GÜRIŞ & İpek M. YURTTAGÜLER & Muhammed TIRAŞOĞLU, 2017. "Unemployment convergence analysis for Nordic countries: Evidence from linear and nonlinear unit root tests," Theoretical and Applied Economics, Asociatia Generala a Economistilor din Romania - AGER, vol. 0(1(610), S), pages 45-56, Spring.
    2. Böckerman, Petri & Hämäläinen, Ulla & Uusitalo, Roope, 2007. "Labour Market Effects of Polytechnic Education Reform: The Finnish Experience," MPRA Paper 4412, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Tomi Kyyra & Mika Maliranta, "undated". "The Declining Labour Share: Lessons From Finnish Micro-data," EcoMod2006 272100047, EcoMod.
    4. Kyyrä, Tomi, 2010. "Partial unemployment insurance benefits and the transition rate to regular work," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 54(7), pages 911-930, October.
    5. Takalo, Tuomas & Castrén, Olli & Wood, Geoffrey, 2004. "Labour market reform and the sustainability of exchange rate pegs," Working Paper Series 406, European Central Bank.
    6. Koskela, Erkki & Uusitalo, Roope, 2004. "Unintended convergence : how Finnish unemployment reached the European level," Research Discussion Papers 6/2004, Bank of Finland.
    7. Petri Böckerman & Pekka Ilmakunnas, 2009. "Unemployment and self-assessed health: evidence from panel data," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 18(2), pages 161-179.
    8. Petri Böckerman & Seppo Laaksonen & Jari Vainiomäki, 2009. "Micro-level Rigidity vs. Macro-level Flexibility: Lessons from Finland," Working Papers 0972, University of Tampere, School of Management, Economics.
    9. Tomi Kyyrä & Ralf A. Wilke, 2007. "Reduction in the Long-Term Unemployment of the Elderly: A Success Story from Finland," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 5(1), pages 154-182, March.
    10. Lars Calmfors & Giancarlo Corsetti & Seppo Honkapohja & John Kay & Willi Leibfritz & Gilles Saint-Paul & Hans-Werner Sinn & Xavier Vives, 2004. "Pay-setting Systems in Europe: On-going Development and Possible Reforms," EEAG Report on the European Economy, CESifo Group Munich, vol. 0, pages 61-83, October.
    11. Virve Ollikainen, 2006. "Gender Differences in Transitions from Unemployment: Micro Evidence from Finland," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 20(1), pages 159-198, March.
    12. Kyyrä, Tomi & Wilke, Ralf A., 2006. "Reduction in the Long-Term Unemployment of the Elderly: A Success Story from Finland Revised," Discussion Papers 396, VATT Institute for Economic Research.
    13. Burak GÜRIŞ & İpek M. YURTTAGÜLER & Muhammed TIRAŞOĞLU, 2017. "Unemployment convergence analysis for Nordic countries: Evidence from linear and nonlinear unit root tests," Theoretical and Applied Economics, Asociatia Generala a Economistilor din Romania - AGER, vol. 0(1(610), S), pages 45-56, Spring.
    14. Heidi Soininen, 2007. "Finnish Evidence of Changes in Labor Market Matching," Finnish Economic Papers, Finnish Economic Association, vol. 20(1), pages 57-71, Spring.
    15. Böckerman, Petri & Laaksonen, Seppo & Vainiomäki, Jari, 2006. "Micro-level evidence on wage rigidities in Finland," MPRA Paper 1811, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    16. Petri Böckerman & Seppo Laaksonen & Jari Vainiomäki, 2007. "Who bears the burden of wage cuts? Evidence from Finland during the 1990s," International Journal of Manpower, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 28(2), pages 100-121, May.
    17. Virve Ollikainen & Tomi Kyyrä, 2006. "To Search or Not to Search? The Effects of UI Benefit Extension for the Elderly Unemployed," Discussion Papers 400, Government Institute for Economic Research Finland (VATT).
    18. Kyyrä, Tomi, 2007. "Studies on Wage Differentials and Labour Market Transitions," Research Reports 133, VATT Institute for Economic Research.

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    Keywords

    unemployment; labour market institutions;

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