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Youth unemployment in the OECD: demographic shifts, labour market institutions, and macroeconomic shocks

  • Jimeno, Juan F.
  • Rodriguez-Palenzuela, Diego

We use a panel of OECD countries to gauge the relevance of the relative size of the youth population, labour market institutions and macroeconomic shocks at explaining observed relative youth employement rates. We find that the fluctuations of the youth population size caused by the baby boom of the 1950s and 1960s and the subsequent decline of fertility in many European countries are positivily associated with fluctuations in relative youth unemployment rates. We also find that some labour market institutions contribute to increase yout unemployment, and that the adjustment to macroeconomic shocks has affected relatively more to young workers than to adult workers. To motivate the effects of institution on the relative unemployment rate of young workers, we lay out a simple theoretical model that builds on the imperfect substitutability of workers of different ages, and on the non-allocative role of (age specific) wages. JEL Classification: J64

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Paper provided by European Central Bank in its series Working Paper Series with number 0155.

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Date of creation: Jun 2002
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Handle: RePEc:ecb:ecbwps:20020155
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  1. Nickell, Stephen & Layard, Richard, 1999. "Labor market institutions and economic performance," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 46, pages 3029-3084 Elsevier.
  2. Dolado, J. J. & Felgueroso, F. & Jimeno, J. F., 2001. "Female employment and occupational changes in the 1990s: How is the EU performing relative to the US?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(4-6), pages 875-889, May.
  3. Bertola, Giuseppe & Blau, Francine D & Kahn, Lawrence, 2001. "Comparative Analysis of Labour Market Outcomes: Lessons for the US from International Long-Run Evidence," CEPR Discussion Papers 3023, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Sanders Korenman & David Neumark, 1997. "Cohort Crowding and Youth Labor Markets: A Cross-National Analysis," NBER Working Papers 6031, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Bentolila, Samuel & Ichino, Andrea, 2000. "Unemployment and Consumption: Are Job Losses Less Painful near the Mediterranean?," CEPR Discussion Papers 2539, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Dolado, Juan J. & Felgueroso, Florentino & Jimeno, Juan F, 2000. "Explaining Youth Labour Market Problems In Spain: Crowding-Out, Institutions, Or Technology Shifts?," CEPR Discussion Papers 2398, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Belot, M.V.K. & van Ours, J.C., 2000. "Does the Recent Success of some OECD Countries in Lowering their Unemployment Rates lie in the Clever Design of their Labour Market Reforms?," Discussion Paper 2000-40, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  8. Steve Nickell & Jan van Ours, 2000. "The Netherlands and the United Kingdom: a European unemployment miracle?," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 15(30), pages 135-180, 04.
  9. Robert Shimer, 1999. "The Impact of Young Workers on the Aggregate Labor Market," NBER Working Papers 7306, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. 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.
  11. Jimeno, Juan F. & Bentolila, Samuel, 1998. "Regional unemployment persistence (Spain, 1976-1994)," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(1), pages 25-51, March.
  12. Lawrence M. Kahn, 2000. "Wage Inequality, Collective Bargaining, And Relative Employment From 1985 To 1994: Evidence From Fifteen Oecd Countries," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 82(4), pages 564-579, November.
  13. Claudio Lupi & Giorgio Brunello, 2001. "Beyond National Institutions: Labor Taxes and Regional Unemployment in Italy," CESifo Working Paper Series 414, CESifo Group Munich.
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