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Structural unemployment and its determinants in the EU countries


  • Fabrice Orlandi


Variables commonly used, in a panel setting, to explain unemployment rate developments (e.g. Bassanini and Duval (2006a, 2006b)) provide similarly good fit for structural unemployment rate, as measured by the Commission services (i.e. the so-called NAWRU). Those variables include labour market structural indicators, thus confirming the impact of labour market structural reforms on the NAWRU. In addition, we find that persistent demand shocks also have a bearing on the NAWRU. Such shocks are related to crisis events (i.e. unwinding of unsustainable developments). In particular, housing boom-bust episodes have statistically significant impacts on the NAWRU. Real interest rate and TFP growth, which controls more generally for the presence of such shocks, also matter. Put together, the explanatory variables account for 90% of the variance of NAWRU, in a 13 EU countries panel covering the period 1985-2009. The tight fit leaves no scope for statistically significant linear trend or period-effects. The paper also presents a new measure of the degree of generosity of unemployment benefit schemes, which has superior explanatory power compared to alternative measures commonly used to account for the role of this variable in similar studies.

Suggested Citation

  • Fabrice Orlandi, 2012. "Structural unemployment and its determinants in the EU countries," European Economy - Economic Papers 2008 - 2015 455, Directorate General Economic and Financial Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.
  • Handle: RePEc:euf:ecopap:0455

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    Cited by:

    1. Alessandro Cianci, 2016. "Disoccupazione strutturale in Italia e regole europee di bilancio," a/ Working Papers Series 1601, Italian Association for the Study of Economic Asymmetries, Rome (Italy).
    2. Elva Bova & Christina Kolerus & Sampawende Tapsoba, 2015. "A fiscal job? An analysis of fiscal policy and the labor market," IZA Journal of Labor Policy, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 4(1), pages 1-17, December.
    3. repec:clr:wugarc:y:2016v:42i:03p:451 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Philipp Heimberger & Jakob Kapeller, 2017. "The performativity of potential output: pro-cyclicality and path dependency in coordinating European fiscal policies," Review of International Political Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 24(5), pages 904-928, September.
    5. K. Mc Morrow & F. Orlandi & R. Raciborski & W. Roeger & V. Vandermeulen & J. in’tVeld & L. Vogel, 2016. "Medium term economic dynamics of the Euro Area," International Economics and Economic Policy, Springer, vol. 13(1), pages 27-43, January.
    6. repec:zbw:rwikon:168633 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. repec:ksa:szemle:1751 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. repec:zbw:svrwjg:201718 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Breuer, Sebastian & Elstner, Steffen, 2017. "Die Wachstumsperspektiven der deutschen Wirtschaft vor dem Hintergrund des demografischen Wandels: Die Mittelfristprojektion des Sachverständigenrates," Working Papers 07/2017, German Council of Economic Experts / Sachverständigenrat zur Begutachtung der gesamtwirtschaftlichen Entwicklung.
    10. Bernadette Biatour & Chantal Kegels & Jan van der Linden & Dirk Verwerft, 2017. "Working Paper 01-17 - Public Investment in Belgium - Current State and Economic Impact," Working Papers 1701, Federal Planning Bureau, Belgium.
    11. repec:mes:eaeuec:v:53:y:2015:i:2:p:149-165 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. repec:clr:wugarc:y:2016v:42i:3p:451 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Berthold, Norbert & Gründler, Klaus, 2013. "Dezentrale Wirtschaftspolitik in Europa: Basis einer stabilen Währungsunion," Discussion Paper Series 121, Julius Maximilian University of Würzburg, Chair of Economic Order and Social Policy.
    14. Pesliakaite, Jurgita, 2015. "Determinants of unemployment in CEE-10 economies: the role of labour market institutions and the macroeconomic environment in 2002–2012," MPRA Paper 66041, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    15. Pošta, 2015. "Time-Varying NAIRU and Some of Its Determinants—A Semi-Structural Approach: Evidence from Eastern European Economies," Eastern European Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 53(2), pages 149-165, March.
    16. Janos Varga & Jan in 't Veld, 2014. "The potential growth impact of structural reforms in the EU. A benchmarking exercise," European Economy - Economic Papers 2008 - 2015 541, Directorate General Economic and Financial Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J38 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Public Policy
    • J60 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - General
    • J65 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment Insurance; Severance Pay; Plant Closings
    • J68 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Public Policy
    • J69 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Other
    • E02 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General - - - Institutions and the Macroeconomy

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