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Alternative measures of the NAIRU in the euro area: estimates and assessment

  • Fabiani, Silvia
  • Mestre, Ricardo

The paper focuses on the measurement of the NAIRU (Non-Accelerating-Inflation-Rate-of-Unemployment) for the euro area and assesses the usefulness of different methodologies developed in the literature to estimate this unobservable variable at the aggregate level. After reviewing the theoretical framework underlying the most common estimation approaches, it presents several estimates of the area-wide NAIRU based on a number of direct (or statistical) techniques. The latter range from simple univariate filtering approaches to more complex multivariate methods based on Phillips curve relationships. The different estimates of the aggregate NAIRU appear to be consistent and robust with respect to alternative specifications, methodologies and choice of the inflation indicator. They also show significant inflation forecasting ability and are able to produce sensible measures of the output gap, therefore providing some ground to argue that unemployment and the unemployment gap may be a useful variable to analyse short-term economic developments at the euro area level. JEL Classification: E24, E31, C14, C22

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Paper provided by European Central Bank in its series Working Paper Series with number 0017.

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Date of creation: Mar 2000
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Handle: RePEc:ecb:ecbwps:20000017
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  1. Rasi, Chris-Marie & Viikari, Jan-Markus, 1998. "The Time-Varying NAIRU and Potential Output in Finland," Research Discussion Papers 6/1998, Bank of Finland.
  2. Douglas O. Staiger & James H. Stock & Mark W. Watson, 1997. "How Precise Are Estimates of the Natural Rate of Unemployment?," NBER Chapters, in: Reducing Inflation: Motivation and Strategy, pages 195-246 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Robert J. Gordon, 1996. "The Time-Varying NAIRU and its Implications for Economic Policy," NBER Working Papers 5735, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Arturo Estrella & Frederic S. Mishkin, 2000. "Rethinking the Role of NAIRU in Monetary Policy: Implications of Model Formulation and Uncertainty," NBER Working Papers 6518, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Douglas Laxton & Guy Meredith & David Rose, 1994. "Asymmetric Effects of Economic Activityon Inflation; Evidence and Policy Implications," IMF Working Papers 94/139, International Monetary Fund.
  6. Layard, Richard & Nickell, Stephen & Jackman, Richard, 2005. "Unemployment: Macroeconomic Performance and the Labour Market," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199279173, March.
  7. Thomas Laubach, 2001. "Measuring The NAIRU: Evidence From Seven Economies," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 83(2), pages 218-231, May.
  8. Karl Whelan, 1997. "Wage curve vs. Phillips curve: are there macroeconomic implications?," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 1997-51, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  9. Robert J. Gordon, 1998. "Foundations of the Goldilocks Economy: Supply Shocks and the Time-Varying NAIRU," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 29(2), pages 297-346.
  10. Marvin Goodfriend & Robert King, 1997. "The New Neoclassical Synthesis and the Role of Monetary Policy," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1997, Volume 12, pages 231-296 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. 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, June.
  12. Watson, Mark W., 1986. "Univariate detrending methods with stochastic trends," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 49-75, July.
  13. Douglas Staiger & James H. Stock & Mark W. Watson, 1997. "The NAIRU, Unemployment and Monetary Policy," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(1), pages 33-49, Winter.
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