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Vicious and Virtuous Circles - The Political Economy of Unemployment in Interwar UK and USA

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  • Matthews, Kent
  • Minford, Patrick
  • Naraidoo, Ruthira

Abstract

This paper develops a political economy model of multiple unemployment equilibria to provide a theory of an endogenous natural rate of unemployment. This model is applied to the UK and the US interwar period which is remembered as the decade of mass unemployment. The theory here sees the natural rate and the associated path of unemployment as a reaction to shocks (mainly demand in nature) and the institutional structure of the economy. The channel through which these two forces feed on each other is a political economy process whereby voters with limited information on the natural rate react to shocks by demanding more or less social protection. The reduced form results obtained confirm a pattern of unemployment behaviour in which unemployment moves between high and low equilibria in response to shocks.

Suggested Citation

  • Matthews, Kent & Minford, Patrick & Naraidoo, Ruthira, 2008. "Vicious and Virtuous Circles - The Political Economy of Unemployment in Interwar UK and USA," CEPR Discussion Papers 6839, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:6839
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    Cited by:

    1. Kurmaş Akdoğan, 2017. "Unemployment hysteresis and structural change in Europe," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 53(4), pages 1415-1440, December.
    2. Matthews, Kent & Minford, Patrick & Naraidoo, Ruthira, 2008. "Vicious and virtuous circles -- The political economy of unemployment in interwar UK and USA," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 24(3), pages 605-614, September.
    3. Franchi, Massimo & Ordóñez, Javier, 2011. "Multiple equilibria in Spanish unemployment," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 71-80, February.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    vicious and virtuous circles; bootstrapping; Equilibrium unemployment; forecasting; Political economy;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • E27 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Forecasting and Simulation: Models and Applications
    • P16 - Economic Systems - - Capitalist Systems - - - Political Economy of Capitalism

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