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Structural Estimates of Equilibrium Unemployment in Six OECD Economies

In Europe, neither unemployment rates nor institutions are uniform. In the EMU, countries have coordinated their monetary policy, and fiscal policy might follow. Does convergence in fiscal policy imply that unemployment rates will converge, too, or is diversified fiscal policy desirable? An answer to this question requires insight into the dependence on fiscal policy of the unemployment rate in equilibrium. This study estimates the equilibrium rate of unemployment and shows that it has been affected significantly by taxes and benefits. Uniform fiscal policy would not, however, harmonise the unemployment rates because the impact of policy varies widely across the OECD economies.

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Paper provided by European Network of Economic Policy Research Institutes in its series Economics Working Papers with number 022.

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Length: 36 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2003
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:epr:enepwp:022
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  1. Roel Beetsma & Xavier Debrun & Frank Klaassen, 2001. "Is Fiscal Policy Coordination in EMU Desirable?," CESifo Working Paper Series 599, CESifo Group Munich.
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  3. Graafland, J.J. & Huizinga, F.H., 1998. "Taxes and benefits in a non-linear wage equation," MPRA Paper 21076, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  4. Pissarides, Christopher A., 1998. "The impact of employment tax cuts on unemployment and wages; The role of unemployment benefits and tax structure," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 155-183, January.
  5. Morgan, Julian & Mourougane, Annabelle, 2001. "What can changes in structural factors tell us about unemployment in Europe?," Working Paper Series 0081, European Central Bank.
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  10. Dolado, J J & Malo de Molina, J L & Zabalza, A, 1986. "Spanish Industrial Unemployment: Some Explanatory Factors," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 53(210(S)), pages S313-34, Supplemen.
  11. Horst Siebert, 1997. "Labor Market Rigidities: At the Root of Unemployment in Europe," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(3), pages 37-54, Summer.
  12. Nickell, Stephen J, 1990. "Unemployment: A Survey," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 100(401), pages 391-439, June.
  13. 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.
  14. Henry, Brian & Karanassou, Marika & Snower, Dennis J, 2000. "Adjustment Dynamics and the Natural Rate: An Account of UK Unemployment," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 52(1), pages 178-203, January.
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  17. Stephen Nickell, 1997. "Unemployment and Labor Market Rigidities: Europe versus North America," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(3), pages 55-74, Summer.
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  30. Oliver J. Blanchard, 1997. "The Medium Run," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 28(2), pages 89-158.
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