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What’s going on behind the euro area Beveridge curve(s)?

  • Bonthuis, Boele
  • Jarvis, Valerie
  • Vanhala, Juuso

This paper studies unemployment and vacancy developments in the euro area at the aggregate and country level over the Great Recession. The recent crisis has had a heterogeneous impact on euro area labour markets, leading to significant employment losses, especially in some sectors. The extent to which the rise in unemployment and particularly long-term unemployment reflects growing mismatch across euro area labour markets is one of the biggest questions facing euro area labour market policy makers. This paper attempts to shed light on this question by analysing developments in euro area Beveridge curves over the past 20 years, at both the aggregate level and on a disaggregated basis for all euro area countries. Using a simple model of Beveridge curve developments, we test for statistical significance of observed developments and find a significant shift in the euro area Beveridge curve since the onset of the crisis, but considerable heterogeneity at the country level. At the extremes, country level differences include a significant outward shift in the Beveridge curve for Spain and France, an inward shift for Germany, while some euro area countries reveal no significant changes in the responsiveness of unemployment to vacancy developments over the course of the crisis. We include an examination of factors underlying the observed developments across the countries. JEL Classification: J62, J63, E24, E32

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Paper provided by European Central Bank in its series Working Paper Series with number 1586.

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Date of creation: Sep 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ecb:ecbwps:20131586
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  1. Wall, Howard & Zoega, Gylfi, 1997. "The British Beveridge Curve: A Tale of Ten Regions," CEPR Discussion Papers 1771, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 2009. "The Aftermath of Financial Crises," NBER Working Papers 14656, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  5. Henry S. Farber, 2012. "Unemployment in the Great Recession: Did the Housing Market Crisis Prevent the Unemployed from Moving to Take Jobs?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(3), pages 520-25, May.
  6. Ramey, Garey & Shigeru Fujita, 2006. "The Cyclicality of Job Loss and Hiring," University of California at San Diego, Economics Working Paper Series qt4nz8p839, Department of Economics, UC San Diego.
  7. Diamond, Peter A. & Sahin, Aysegul, 2014. "Shifts in the Beveridge curve," Staff Reports 687, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  8. Blanchard, Olivier Jean & Diamond, Peter A, 1994. "Ranking, Unemployment Duration, and Wages," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 61(3), pages 417-34, July.
  9. Julen ESTEBAN-PRETEL & FUJIMOTO Junichi, 2011. "Life-Cycle Search, Match Quality and Japan's Labor Flow," Discussion papers 11041, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
  10. Michael R. Darby & John C. Haltiwanger & Mark W. Plant, 1985. "Unemployment-Rate Dynamics and Persistent Unemployment Under Rational Expectations," NBER Working Papers 1558, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Pissarides, C A, 1979. "Job Matchings with State Employment Agencies and Random Search," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 89(356), pages 818-33, December.
  12. Steven J. Davis & John C. Haltiwanger & Scott Schuh, 1998. "Job Creation and Destruction," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262540932, June.
  13. Robert G. Valletta, 2005. "Why has the U.S. Beveridge curve shifted back? new evidence using regional data," Working Paper Series 2005-25, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  14. Regis Barnichon & Andrew Figura, 2011. "What drives matching efficiency? a tale of composition and dispersion," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2011-10, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  15. Nicolaas Groenewold, 2003. "Long-Run Shifts of the Beveridge Curve and the Frictional Unemployment Rate in Australia," Australian Journal of Labour Economics (AJLE), Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre (BCEC), Curtin Business School, vol. 6(1), pages 65-82, March.
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