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Rueff et l'analyse du chômage : Quels héritages?


  • Georges Prat


This paper shows that, Rueff (1925, 1931) distinguished [a] a « permanent » unemployment due to excessive real wages relative to the labor productivity, [b] a “temporary” unemployment due to a decline in the economic activity resulting from a cyclic decrease of the price level, and [c] a « minimum » frictional unemployment prevailing in the normal functioning of the economy. Using empirical data, Rueff suggested that the unemployment of type [a] was largely dominant in England during the 1920’s (i.e. the socalled « law of Rueff »). The confrontation between this analysis and the subsequent analysis of unemployment in the literature reveals that : (i) the Phillips curve and its extension with the NAIRU appears as a non-legacy ; (ii) the wage curve is in accordance with the « law of Rueff » and provides an interesting complement to it; (iii) the equation proposed by Allais to explain the french unemployment rate includes the three types of unemployment pointed out by Rueff; (iv) although now abandoned, the fixed price temporary equilibria theory includes the unemployment of type [a] with both the classical regime and the keynesian regime of unemployment ; (v) the new keynesian microeconomy of the labor market shows that unemployment of type [a] can be explained by the behavior of rational agents without involving rigidities imposed by the Government ; this result generalizes the concept of unemployment of type [a] but is a refutation of the possibility accepted by Rueff to get a competitive equilibrium in a labor market without exogenous rigidities; (vi) the imperfect competition WS-PS model based on negotiation between employees and employers appears in accordance with the three kinds of unemployment [a], [b] et [c] so that it can be seen in this model a synthesis joining Rueff and Allais.

Suggested Citation

  • Georges Prat, 2014. "Rueff et l'analyse du chômage : Quels héritages?," EconomiX Working Papers 2014-1, University of Paris Nanterre, EconomiX.
  • Handle: RePEc:drm:wpaper:2014-1

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1972. "Expectations and the neutrality of money," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 103-124, April.
    2. Arturo Estrella & Frederic S. Mishkin, 1999. "Rethinking the Role of NAIRU in Monetary Policy: Implications of Model Formulation and Uncertainty," NBER Chapters,in: Monetary Policy Rules, pages 405-436 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Assar Lindbeck & Dennis J. Snower, 1989. "The Insider-Outsider Theory of Employment and Unemployment," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 026262074x.
    4. Cahuc, Pierre & Gianella, Christian & Goux, Dominique & Zylberberg, Andre, 2002. "Equalizing Wage Differences and Bargaining Power: Evidence from a Panel of French Firms," CEPR Discussion Papers 3510, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    5. Jean-Pascal Benassy, 1975. "Neo-Keynesian Disequilibrium Theory in a Monetary Economy," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 42(4), pages 503-523.
    6. Jean-Michel Plassard & Gabriel Tahar, 1990. "Théorie du salaire d'efficience et disparités non compensatrices : évaluation à partir de l'enquête Fqp," Économie et Prévision, Programme National Persée, vol. 92(1), pages 67-76.
    7. Michel de Vroey, 2004. "Théorie du déséquilibre et chômage involontaire. Un examen critique," Revue économique, Presses de Sciences-Po, vol. 55(4), pages 647-668.
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    More about this item


    unemployment; wage rigidities; Jacques Rueff.;

    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
    • J2 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor
    • J30 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - General
    • N34 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - Europe: 1913-

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