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Unemployment in Britain: A European Success Story

  • Christopher A. Pissarides

Unemployment in the United Kingdom has fallen from high European-style levels to US levels. I argue that the key reasons are 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 pressures 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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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 981.

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Date of creation: 2003
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_981
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  14. Paloma Lopez-Garcia, 2003. "Labour Market Performance and Start-up Costs: OECD Evidence," CESifo Working Paper Series 849, CESifo Group Munich.
  15. Christopher A. Pissarides, 1992. "Loss of Skill During Unemployment and the Persistence of Employment Shocks," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(4), pages 1371-1391.
  16. Layard, Richard & Nickell, Stephen & Jackman, Richard, 1991. "Unemployment: Macroeconomic Performance and the Labour Market," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198284345, June.
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  20. Richard Blundell & Monica Costa Dias & Costas Meghir & John Van Reenen, 2001. "Evaluating the employment impact of a mandatory job search assistance program," IFS Working Papers W01/20, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  21. Christopher Pissarides & Pietro Garibaldi & Claudia Olivetti & Barbara Petrongolo & Etienne Wasmer, 2005. "Women in the Labour Force : How Well is Europe Doing ?," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/9081, Sciences Po.
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