IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Unemployment Dynamics, Duration and Equilibrium: Evidence from Britain

  • Burgess, Simon
  • Turon, Hélène

This Paper challenges the consensus on the nature of unemployment dynamics in Britain. We show that the argument that changes in unemployment arise mostly from changes in the duration of unemployment (rather than in the event of becoming unemployed) is flawed. In fact, while shocks to the outflow do have a part to play up to the late 1970s, the huge changes in unemployment over the last two decades have been mostly driven by inflow shocks. Our model also provides a new explanation of aggregate unemployment persistence based on externalities at a market level rather than individual-level persistence.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: CEPR Discussion Papers are free to download for our researchers, subscribers and members. If you fall into one of these categories but have trouble downloading our papers, please contact us at

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 2490.

in new window

Date of creation: Jun 2000
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:2490
Contact details of provider: Postal: Centre for Economic Policy Research, 77 Bastwick Street, London EC1V 3PZ.
Phone: 44 - 20 - 7183 8801
Fax: 44 - 20 - 7183 8820

Order Information: Email:

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Burgess, Simon M, 1993. "A Model of Competition between Unemployed and Employed Job Searchers: An Application to the Unemployment Outflow Rate in Britain," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 103(420), pages 1190-204, September.
  2. Darby, Michael R & Haltiwanger, John C & Plant, Mark W, 1985. "Unemployment Rate Dynamics and Persistent Unemployment under Rational Expectations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(4), pages 614-37, September.
  3. Burda, Michael & Wyplosz, Charles, 1994. "Gross worker and job flows in Europe," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 38(6), pages 1287-1315, June.
  4. Steven J. Davis & John Haltiwanger, 1990. "Gross Job Creation and Destruction: Microeconomic Evidence and Macroeconomic Implications," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1990, Volume 5, pages 123-186 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Burgess, Simon M. & Profit, Stefan, 1998. "Externalities in the matching of workers and firms in Britain," SFB 373 Discussion Papers 1998,19, Humboldt University of Berlin, Interdisciplinary Research Project 373: Quantification and Simulation of Economic Processes.
  6. Bell, Brian & Nickell, Stephen & Quintini, Glenda, 2002. "Wage equations, wage curves and all that," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(3), pages 341-360, July.
  7. Abbring, J.H. & Berg, G.J. & Ours, J.C., 1994. "The anatomy of unemployment dynamics," Serie Research Memoranda 0024, VU University Amsterdam, Faculty of Economics, Business Administration and Econometrics.
  8. Bean, Charles R, 1994. "European Unemployment: A Survey," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 32(2), pages 573-619, June.
  9. Simon Burgess & Julia Lane & David Stevens, 1996. "Job Flows, Worker Flows and Churning," Labor and Demography 9604004, EconWPA.
  10. Donald Robertson & James Symons, 2000. "Factor residuals in SUR regressions: estimating panels allowing for cross sectional correlation," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 20163, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  11. van den Berg, G. & van Ours, J.C., 1996. "Unemployment dynamics and duration dependence," Other publications TiSEM 4374742f-8d86-458d-9ab3-6, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
  12. Karanassou, Marika & Snower, Dennis J, 1998. "How Labour Market Flexibility Affects Unemployment: Long-Term Implications of the Chain Reaction Theory," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 108(448), pages 832-49, May.
  13. Oliver Jean Blanchard & Peter Diamond, 1990. "The Cyclical Behovior of the Gross Flows of U.S. Workers," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 21(2), pages 85-156.
  14. Burgess, Simon M, 1992. "A Search Model with Job Changing Costs: 'Eurosclerosis' and Unemployment," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 44(1), pages 75-88, January.
  15. Layard, Richard & Nickell, Stephen & Jackman, Richard, 2005. "Unemployment: Macroeconomic Performance and the Labour Market," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199279173, July.
  16. Stephen Nickell & Luca Nunziata, 2000. "Employment Patterns in OECD Countries," CEP Discussion Papers dp0448, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  17. van den Berg, Gerard J & van Ours, Jan C, 1996. "Unemployment Dynamics and Duration Dependence," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 14(1), pages 100-125, January.
  18. Junankar, P N & Price, Simon, 1984. "The Dynamics of Unemployment: Structural Change and Unemployment Flows," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 94(376a), pages 158-65, Supplemen.
  19. 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.
  20. M Dabrowski & Stanislaw Gomulka & J Rostowski, 2000. "Whence Reform? A Critique of the Stiglitz Perspective," CEP Discussion Papers dp0471, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  21. Lancaster, Tony, 1979. "Econometric Methods for the Duration of Unemployment," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(4), pages 939-56, July.
  22. Abbring, J.H. & van den Berg, G. & van Ours, J.C., 1999. "The Anatomy of Unemployment Dynamics," Discussion Paper 1999-81, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  23. Stephen Machin & Alan Manning, 1998. "The causes and consequences of long-term unemployment in Europe," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 20255, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  24. Nickell, Stephen, 1998. "Unemployment: Questions and Some Answers," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 108(448), pages 802-16, May.
  25. Burgess, Simon M, 1992. "The Flow into Unemployment in Britain," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 102(413), pages 888-95, July.
  26. Abbring, Jaap H & van den Berg, Gerard J & van Ours, Jan C, 2001. "Business Cycles and Compositional Variation in U.S. Unemployment," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 19(4), pages 436-48, October.
  27. Mortensen, Dale T., 1994. "The cyclical behavior of job and worker flows," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 18(6), pages 1121-1142, November.
  28. Nickell, S J, 1985. "The Determinants of Equilibrium Unemployment in Britain: A Reply," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 95(377), pages 196-98, March.
  29. Patricia M. Anderson & Simon M. Burgess, 1995. "Empirical Matching Functions: Estimation and Interpretation Using Disaggregate Data," NBER Working Papers 5001, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  30. Patricia M. Anderson & Simon M. Burgess, 2000. "Empirical Matching Functions: Estimation and Interpretation Using State-Level Data," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 82(1), pages 93-102, February.
  31. Helene Turon, 2003. "Inflow Composition, Duration Dependence and Their Impact on The Unemployment Outflow Rate," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 65(1), pages 31-47, February.
  32. Burgess, Simon M., 1994. "Matching models and labour market flows," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 38(3-4), pages 809-816, April.
  33. Price, Simon, 1985. "The Determinants of Equilibrium Unemployment in Britain: A Comment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 95(377), pages 189-95, March.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:2490. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ()

The email address of this maintainer does not seem to be valid anymore. Please ask to update the entry or send us the correct address

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.