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Evaluating Unemployment Policies: What do the Underlying Theories Tell Us?


  • Snower, Dennis J.


The paper surveys unemployment policies for advanced market economies and evaluates them by examining the predictions of the underlying macroeconomic theories. The basic idea is that, for the most part, different unemployment policy prescriptions rest on different macroeconomic theories, and our confidence in the prescriptions should depend - at least in part - on the ability of these theories to predict some salient stylized facts about unemployment behaviour. The paper considers four types of policies: laissez-faire, demand-management, supply-side, and structural.

Suggested Citation

  • Snower, Dennis J., 1994. "Evaluating Unemployment Policies: What do the Underlying Theories Tell Us?," CEPR Discussion Papers 1081, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:1081

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Bresnahan, Timothy F. & Trajtenberg, M., 1995. "General purpose technologies 'Engines of growth'?," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 83-108, January.
    2. David, P.A., 1989. "Computer And Dynamo: The Modern Productivity Paradox In A Not-Too Distant Mirror," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 339, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
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    Cited by:

    1. Camille Logeay & Sven Schreiber, 2006. "Testing the effectiveness of the French work-sharing reform: a forecasting approach," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 38(17), pages 2053-2068.
    2. Lonnie Golden & Stuart Glosser, 2013. "Work sharing as a potential policy tool for creating more and better employment: A review of the evidence," Chapters,in: Work Sharing during the Great Recession, chapter 7, pages 203-258 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    3. Hedwig Lutz, 1998. "European Social Fund and Labor Market Policy," WIFO Monatsberichte (monthly reports), WIFO, vol. 71(9), pages 617-625, September.
    4. Immervoll, Herwig & O'Donoghue, Cathal, 2002. "Welfare benefits and work incentives: an analysis of the distribution of net replacement rates in Europe using EUROMOD, a multi-country microsimulation model," EUROMOD Working Papers EM4/01, EUROMOD at the Institute for Social and Economic Research.
    5. BURGGRAEVE Koen & DU CAJU Philip, "undated". "How Do Reference Values for Wages and Wage Indexing Influence the Impact of Labour Tax Reductions?," EcoMod2003 330700028, EcoMod.
    6. Hedwig Lutz, 1998. "European Social Fund and Labor Market Policy," Austrian Economic Quarterly, WIFO, vol. 3(4), pages 209-217, October.
    7. Aloys Prinz, 2004. "Reform der Arbeitsmarktpolitik: Alter Wein in neuen Schläuchen?," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 5(3), pages 313-332, August.
    8. Charles Meth, 2004. "Half Measures: The ANC's Unemployment and Poverty Reduction Goals," Working Papers 04089, University of Cape Town, Development Policy Research Unit.
    9. Fertig, Michael & Jacobi, Lena & Kluve, Jochen & Schaffner, Sandra & Schmidt, Christoph M. & Schumacher, Peter Michael & Tamm, Marcus & Apel, Helmut & Friedrich, Werner & Hägele, Helmut & Buscher, Her, 2006. "Evaluation der Umsetzung der Vorschläge der Hartz-Kommission. Arbeitspaket 1, Modul 1f. Teil 2: Benchmarking und makroökonomische Analysen," RWI Projektberichte, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, number 70876.
    10. Dr Ronald W. McQuaid, 1996. "Lifelong Learning And Local Economic Development," Working Paper p22, Departement of Economics, Napier University.
    11. Kamila Fialová & Martina Mysíková, 2009. "Labour Market Participation: The Impact of Social Benefits in the Czech Republic and Selected European Countries," Prague Economic Papers, University of Economics, Prague, vol. 2009(3), pages 235-250.
    12. Adams, John & Greig, Malcolm & McQuaid, Ronald W., 1999. "Mismatch and unemployment in local labour markets," ERSA conference papers ersa99pa027, European Regional Science Association.
    13. G. Carone & A. Salomäki, 2001. "Reforms in tax-benefit systems in order to increase emplyoment incentives in the EU," European Economy - Economic Papers 2008 - 2015 160, Directorate General Economic and Financial Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.

    More about this item


    Demand Management; Laissez Faire; Structural Policies; Supply-Side Policies; Unemployment; Unemployment Policies;

    JEL classification:

    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • E63 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Comparative or Joint Analysis of Fiscal and Monetary Policy; Stabilization; Treasury Policy
    • J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure
    • J23 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Demand
    • J32 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Nonwage Labor Costs and Benefits; Retirement Plans; Private Pensions
    • J41 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Labor Contracts
    • J51 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining - - - Trade Unions: Objectives, Structure, and Effects
    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search


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