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Unemployment and hours of work: the North Atlantic divide revisited

  • Christopher Pissarides

I examine the dynamic evolutions of unemployment, hours of work and the service share since the war in the United States and Europe. The theoretical model brings together all three and emphasizes technological growth. Computations show that the very low unemployment in Europe in the 1960s was due to the high productivity growth associated with technological catch-up. Productivity also played a role in the dynamics of hours but a full explanation for the fast rise of service employment and the big fall in aggregate hours needs further research. Taxation has played a role but results are mixed.

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File URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/4461/
File Function: Open access version.
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Paper provided by London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library in its series LSE Research Online Documents on Economics with number 4461.

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Length: 51 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:4461
Contact details of provider: Postal: LSE Library Portugal Street London, WC2A 2HD, U.K.
Phone: +44 (020) 7405 7686
Web page: http://www.lse.ac.uk/

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  1. Pissarides, Christopher A, 1994. "Search Unemployment with On-the-Job Search," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 61(3), pages 457-75, July.
  2. Valerie Ramey & Neville Francis, 2006. "A Century of Work and Leisure," Working Papers id:546, eSocialSciences.
  3. James Ted McDonald & Christopher Worswick, 1999. "Wages, Implicit Contracts, and the Business Cycle: Evidence from Canadian Micro Data," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(4), pages 884-913, August.
  4. Merz, Monika, 1995. "Search in the labor market and the real business cycle," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 269-300, November.
  5. Christopher A. Pissarides & Barbara Petrongolo, 2001. "Looking into the Black Box: A Survey of the Matching Function," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 39(2), pages 390-431, June.
  6. Robert E. Hall & Paul R. Milgrom, 2008. "The Limited Influence of Unemployment on the Wage Bargain," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(4), pages 1653-74, September.
  7. Anabela Carneiro & Pedro Portugal, 2004. "Workers' Flows and Real Wage Cyclicality," Working Papers w200409, Banco de Portugal, Economics and Research Department.
  8. Rebecca Blank, 1987. "Why Are Wages Cyclical in the 1970's?," Working Papers 604, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  9. Robert Shimer, 2012. "Reassessing the Ins and Outs of Unemployment," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 15(2), pages 127-148, April.
  10. Pissarides, Christopher & Vallanti, Giovanna, 2005. "The Impact of TFP Growth on Steady-State Unemployment," CEPR Discussion Papers 5002, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  11. Costain, James S. & Reiter, Michael, 2008. "Business cycles, unemployment insurance, and the calibration of matching models," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 32(4), pages 1120-1155, April.
  12. Helge Braun & Reinout De Bock & Riccardo DiCecio, 2006. "Aggregate shocks and labor market fluctuations," Working Papers 2006-004, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  13. Leena Rudanko, 2005. "Labor Market Dynamics under Long Term Wage Contracting," 2005 Meeting Papers 876, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  14. Azariadis, Costas, 1975. "Implicit Contracts and Underemployment Equilibria," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 83(6), pages 1183-1202, December.
  15. Eran Yashiv, 2005. "Evaluating the Performance of the Search and Matching Model," CEP Discussion Papers dp0677, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  16. Thomas A. Lubik & Michael U. Krause, 2005. "On-the-job Search and the Cyclical Dynamics of the Labor Market," 2005 Meeting Papers 792, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  17. Barro, Robert J., 1977. "Long-term contracting, sticky prices, and monetary policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(3), pages 305-316, July.
  18. Edward C. Prescott, 2004. "Why Do Americans Work So Much More Than Europeans?," Levine's Bibliography 122247000000000413, UCLA Department of Economics.
  19. Pissarides, Christopher A, 1985. "Short-run Equilibrium Dynamics of Unemployment Vacancies, and Real Wages," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(4), pages 676-90, September.
  20. Wouter J. den Haan & Garey Ramey & Joel Watson, 1997. "Job Destruction and Propagation of Shocks," NBER Working Papers 6275, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  21. Gary Solon & Robert Barsky & Jonathan A. Parker, 1992. "Measuring the Cyclicality of Real Wages: How Important is Composition Bias," NBER Working Papers 4202, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  22. Burcu Eyigungor, 2010. "Specific Capital and Vintage Effects on the Dynamics of Unemployment and Vacancies," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(3), pages 1214-37, June.
  23. Gary Solon & Ryan Michaels & Michael W. L. Elsby, 2009. "The Ins and Outs of Cyclical Unemployment," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 1(1), pages 84-110, January.
  24. Darren Grant, 2003. "The effect of implicit contracts on the movement of wages over the business cycle: Evidence from the national longitudinal surveys," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 56(3), pages 393-408, April.
  25. Richard Rogerson, 2006. "Structural Transformation and the Labor Market," 2006 Meeting Papers 256, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  26. A Brandolini, 1993. "In Search of a Stylised Fact: Do Real Wages Exhibit a Consistent Pattern of Cyclical Variability?," CEP Discussion Papers dp0112, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  27. Donald A. Walker (ed.), 2000. "Equilibrium," Books, Edward Elgar, volume 0, number 1585, 6.
  28. Christopher A. Pissarides, 2000. "Equilibrium Unemployment Theory, 2nd Edition," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262161877, June.
  29. Arozamena, Leandro & Centeno, Mario, 2006. "Tenure, business cycle and the wage-setting process," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 401-424, February.
  30. Dale T. Mortensen & Christopher A. Pissarides, 1993. "Job Creation and Job Destruction in the Theory of Unemployment," CEP Discussion Papers dp0110, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  31. David Card, 1995. "The Wage Curve: A Review," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 33(2), pages 285-299, June.
  32. Robert Shimer, 2004. "The Consequences of Rigid Wages in Search Models," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 2(2-3), pages 469-479, 04/05.
  33. Baily, Martin Neil, 1974. "Wages and Employment under Uncertain Demand," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 41(1), pages 37-50, January.
  34. Peng, Fei & Siebert, W. Stanley, 2007. "Real Wage Cyclicality in Germany and the UK: New Results Using Panel Data," IZA Discussion Papers 2688, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  35. Bils, Mark J, 1985. "Real Wages over the Business Cycle: Evidence from Panel Data," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(4), pages 666-89, August.
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