IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/euf/ecopap/0136.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The NAIRU Concept - Measurement uncertainties, hysteresis and economic policy role

Author

Listed:
  • P. McAdam
  • K. Mc Morrow

Abstract

The present paper looks at the notion of a NAIRU and asks whether it continues to stand up to rigorous analysis in terms of both its theoretical underpinnings or of its empirical applicability. The paper addresses the essential questions in relation to an examination of the NAIRU, namely: firstly can it be reliably calculated ? and secondly, does the concept continue to have any relevance in terms of the micro and macro policy debate ? In relation to the first question, it is stressed that precise measurements of the NAIRU are extremely difficult to produce because any measurement process is dogged by the existence of a number of fundamental sources of uncertainty. As regards the second question, the growing unease, openly articulated in the vast literature on this topic, concerning both the theoretical and empirical underpinnings of the NAIRU, suggests caution needs to be exercised in terms of any policy role being attributed to the concept. The paper tentatively concludes that while theoretically the NAIRU is still a useful concept, its extensive empirical inadequacies render it less than useful in the macro policy context, although a case can still be made for sustaining its use as a structural indicator for cross country, labour flexibility, comparisons.

Suggested Citation

  • P. McAdam & K. Mc Morrow, 1999. "The NAIRU Concept - Measurement uncertainties, hysteresis and economic policy role," European Economy - Economic Papers 2008 - 2015 136, Directorate General Economic and Financial Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.
  • Handle: RePEc:euf:ecopap:0136
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://ec.europa.eu/economy_finance/publications/pages/publication11170_en.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Zeldes, Stephen P, 1989. "Consumption and Liquidity Constraints: An Empirical Investigation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, pages 305-346.
    2. Miles, David, 1999. "Modelling the Impact of Demographic Change upon the Economy," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(452), pages 1-36, January.
    3. Jappelli, Tullio & Pistaferri, Luigi, 2000. "Using subjective income expectations to test for excess sensitivity of consumption to predicted income growth," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 44(2), pages 337-358, February.
    4. Adrian Blundell-Wignall & Frank Browne & Stefano Cavaglia, 1991. "Financial Liberalisation and Consumption Behaviour," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 81, OECD Publishing.
    5. Jagadeesh Gokhale & Laurence J. Kotlikoff & John Sabelhaus, 1996. "Understanding the Postwar Decline in U.S. Saving: A Cohort Analysis," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 27(1), pages 315-407.
    6. David A. Wise & Steven F. Venti, 1993. "The Wealth of Cohorts: Retirement Saving and the Changing Assets of Older Americans," NBER Working Papers 4600, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Werner Roeger & Jan in 't Veld, 1997. "QUEST II. A Multi-Country Business Cycle and Growth Model," European Economy - Economic Papers 2008 - 2015 123, Directorate General Economic and Financial Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.
    8. Christopher D. Carroll, 1997. "Buffer-Stock Saving and the Life Cycle/Permanent Income Hypothesis," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(1), pages 1-55.
    9. John Y. Campbell & N. Gregory Mankiw, 1989. "Consumption, Income and Interest Rates: Reinterpreting the Time Series Evidence," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1989, Volume 4, pages 185-246 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. repec:fth:harver:1435 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Richard Kohl & Paul O'Brien, 1998. "The Macroeconomics of Ageing, Pensions and Savings: A Survey," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 200, OECD Publishing.
    12. Gertler, Mark, 1999. "Government debt and social security in a life-cycle economy," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, pages 61-110.
    13. Tamim Bayoumi, 1997. "Explaining Consumption: A Simple Test of Alternative Hypotheses," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 44(4), pages 462-484, December.
    14. John Y. Campbell, 1996. "Consumption and the Stock Market: Interpreting International Experience," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1763, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
    15. Tim Callen & Christian Thimann, 1997. "Empirical Determinants of Household Saving; Evidence From OECD Countries," IMF Working Papers 97/181, International Monetary Fund.
    16. Berg, Lennart, 1994. "Household Savings and Debts: The Experience of the Nordic Countries," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 10(2), pages 42-53, Summer.
    17. Scott, Andrew, 1996. "Consumption, 'Credit Crunches' and Financial Deregulation," CEPR Discussion Papers 1389, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    18. Masson, Paul R & Bayoumi, Tamim & Samiei, Hossein, 1998. "International Evidence on the Determinants of Private Saving," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, pages 483-501.
    19. John Y. Campbell, 1996. "Consumption and the Stock Market: Interpreting International Experience," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1763, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
    20. Carruth, Alan & Henley, Andrew, 1990. "Can Existing Consumption Functions Forecast Consumer Spending in the Late 1980's?," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 52(2), pages 211-222, May.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Julian Reiss, 2001. "Natural economic quantities and their measurement," Journal of Economic Methodology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 8(2), pages 287-311.
    2. Gómez García, F. & Rebollo Sanz, Y. & Usabiaga Ibáñez, C., 2002. "Nuevas estimaciones de la NAIRU de la economía española: métodos directos," Estudios de Economía Aplicada, Estudios de Economía Aplicada, vol. 20, pages 509-530, Diciembre.
    3. Ángel Estrada & Ignacio Hernando & J. David López-Salido, 2000. "Measuring the NAIRU in the Spanish Economy," Working Papers 0009, Banco de España;Working Papers Homepage.
    4. Claire Sensoli & Francisco Serranito & Thierry Latreille & Olivier Passet & Odile Chagny & Hélène Baudchon & Catherine Mathieu & Christine Rifflart & Hervé Péléraux & Henri Sterdyniak & Paola Veroni, 2000. "Tous ensemble ? Perspectives 2000-2001 pour l'économie mondiale," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/2781, Sciences Po.
    5. Emilie Jašová & Božena Kadeřábková & Klára Čermáková & Pavel Procházka, 2016. "Působení institucionálních faktorů na strukturální a cyklickou nezaměstnanost v zemích Visegrádské skupiny
      [Influence of Institutional Factors on Structural and Cyclical Unemployment in the Countri
      ," Politická ekonomie, University of Economics, Prague, vol. 2016(1), pages 34-50.
    6. Camarero, Mariam & Carrion-i-Silvestre, Josep Lluis & Tamarit, Cecilio, 2005. "Unemployment dynamics and NAIRU estimates for accession countries: A univariate approach," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(3), pages 584-603, September.
    7. Département analyse et prévision de l'OFCE & Henri Sterdyniak & Hélène Baudchon & Odile Chagny & Thierry Latreille & Catherine Mathieu & Olivier Passet & Christine Rifflart & Claire Sensoli & Paola Ve, 2000. "Tous ensemble ?," Revue de l'OFCE, Programme National Persée, vol. 73(1), pages 7-113.
    8. Božena Kadeřábková & Emilie Jašová, 2011. "Analýza ukazatele NAIRU na sektorové úrovni
      [Analysis of the Indicator NAIRU on the Sector Level]
      ," Politická ekonomie, University of Economics, Prague, vol. 2011(4), pages 508-525.
    9. Emilie Jašová & Božena Kaderábková, 2012. "Comparing NAIRU and Economic Cycle from the Perspective of Labour Market in the Countries of the Visegrad Group," Economic Studies journal, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences - Economic Research Institute, issue 4, pages 3-23.
    10. Mariam Camarero & Josep Lluis Carrion Silvestre & Cecilio Tamarit, 2005. "Unemployment dynamics and NAIRU estimates for CEECs : A univariate approach," Working Papers in Economics 131, Universitat de Barcelona. Espai de Recerca en Economia.
    11. Task Force of the Monetary Policy Committee of the European System of Central Banks, 2012. "Euro area labour markets and the crisis," Occasional Paper Series 138, European Central Bank.

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:euf:ecopap:0136. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (ECFIN INFO). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/dg2ecbe.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.