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Unemployment in the EU: Institutions, Prices and Growth

  • Karanassou, Marika
  • Sala, Hector
  • Snower, Dennis J.

This Paper presents a reappraisal of unemployment movements in the European Union. Our analysis is based on the chain reaction theory of unemployment, which focuses on (a) the interaction among labour market adjustment processes, (b) the interplay between these adjustment processes and the dynamic structure of labour market shocks, and (c) the interaction between the adjustment processes and economic growth. We divide the shocks into institutional variables, price variables, and growth drivers. Estimating a system of labour market equations for a panel of EU countries, we derive the dynamic unemployment responses to each shock. Our analysis permits us to distinguish between the short- and long-run effects of the shocks. Different shocks generate different degrees of ‘unemployment persistence’ (responses to temporary shocks) and ‘unemployment responsiveness’ (responses to permanent shocks). We find that the growth drivers play a dominant role in accounting for the main swings in EU unemployment.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 4243.

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Date of creation: Feb 2004
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:4243
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  1. Maddala, G S & Wu, Shaowen, 1999. " A Comparative Study of Unit Root Tests with Panel Data and a New Simple Test," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 61(0), pages 631-52, Special I.
  2. Karanassou, Marika & Sala, Hector & Snower, Dennis J., 2002. "Unemployment in the European Union: A Dynamic Reappraisal," IZA Discussion Papers 531, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Blanchard, Olivier & Wolfers, Justin, 2000. "The Role of Shocks and Institutions in the Rise of European Unemployment: The Aggregate Evidence," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(462), pages C1-33, March.
  4. Henry, Brian & Karanassou, Marika & Snower, Dennis J, 2000. "Adjustment Dynamics and the Natural Rate: An Account of UK Unemployment," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 52(1), pages 178-203, January.
  5. 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.
  6. Daveri, Francesco & Tabellini, Guido, 1997. "Unemployment, Growth and Taxation in Industrial Countries," CEPR Discussion Papers 1681, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Edmund Phelps & Gylfi Zoega, 2001. "Structural booms," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 16(32), pages 83-126, 04.
  8. Badi H. Baltagi & Chihwa Kao, 2000. "Nonstationary Panels, Cointegration in Panels and Dynamic Panels: A Survey," Center for Policy Research Working Papers 16, Center for Policy Research, Maxwell School, Syracuse University.
  9. Baltagi, Badi H. & Griffin, James M., 1997. "Pooled estimators vs. their heterogeneous counterparts in the context of dynamic demand for gasoline," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 77(2), pages 303-327, April.
  10. Karanassou, Marika & Snower, Dennis J., 2000. "Characteristics of Unemployment Dynamics: The Chain Reaction Approach," IZA Discussion Papers 127, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  11. Banerjee, Anindya, 1999. " Panel Data Unit Roots and Cointegration: An Overview," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 61(0), pages 607-29, Special I.
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