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Unemployment Dynamics Across OECD Countries

  • Balakrishnan, R.
  • Michelacci, C.

The European Community and the US have experienced vastly different unemployment dynamics over the last two decades. This paper investigates whether these differences are due to exposure to different shocks or reacting differently to the same shocks. With the premise of a search theoretic framework and a structural VAR methodology, the paper robustly identifies aggregate versus reallocative shocks. With the exception of Spain where most of the dynamics seems to be driven by reallocation, it is found that most differences in unemployment dynamics arise because of differences in responses to shocks. In particular the US Labour market is quicker to adjust than the European Community. This implies that EEC economies might be dynamically 'sclerotic', even if the size of the steady state labour market flows give the impression that European Labour markets are quite active. Various identifying assumptions, additional labour supply shocks and different variables are used so that the results seem to be robust.

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Paper provided by Centro de Estudios Monetarios Y Financieros- in its series Papers with number 9806.

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Length: 50 pages
Date of creation: 1998
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:fth:cemfdt:9806
Contact details of provider: Postal: Centro de Estudios Monetarios Y Financieros. Casado del Alisal, 5-28014 Madrid, Spain.
Phone: 914290551
Fax: 914291056
Web page: http://www.cemfi.es/
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  1. Bertola, Giuseppe & Rogerson, Richard, 1996. "Institutions and Labour Reallocation," CEPR Discussion Papers 1519, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Juan J. Dolado & Juan F. Jimeno, . "The causes of Spanish unemployment: A structural VAR apporach," Working Papers 96-19, FEDEA.
  3. Pissarides, Christopher A, 1992. "Loss of Skill during Unemployment and the Persistence of Employment Shocks," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(4), pages 1371-91, November.
  4. Blanchard, Olivier Jean & Quah, Danny, 1989. "The Dynamic Effects of Aggregate Demand and Supply Disturbances," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(4), pages 655-73, September.
  5. Jovanovic, Boyan, 1984. "Matching, Turnover, and Unemployment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 92(1), pages 108-22, February.
  6. Ricardo J. Caballero & Mohamad L. Hammour, 1994. "On the Timing and Efficiency of Creative Destruction," NBER Working Papers 4768, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Mortensen, Dale T & Pissarides, Christopher A, 1994. "Job Creation and Job Destruction in the Theory of Unemployment," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 61(3), pages 397-415, July.
  8. Pissarides, Christopher A, 1994. "Search Unemployment with On-the-Job Search," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 61(3), pages 457-75, July.
  9. Burda, Michael C & Wyplosz, Charles, 1993. "Gross Worker and Job Flows in Europe," CEPR Discussion Papers 868, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. Acemoglu, Daron, 1996. "A Microfoundation for Social Increasing Returns in Human Capital Accumulation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 111(3), pages 779-804, August.
  11. Oliver Jean Blanchard & Peter Diamond, 1989. "The Beveridge Curve," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 20(1), pages 1-76.
  12. Abowd, John M & Kramarz, Francis & Margolis, David N, 1999. "Minimum Wages and Employment in France and the United States," CEPR Discussion Papers 2159, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  13. Caballero, Ricardo J & Hammour, Mohamad L, 1994. "The Cleansing Effect of Recessions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(5), pages 1350-68, December.
  14. Ben S. Bernanke, 1986. "Alternative Explanations of the Money-Income Correlation," NBER Working Papers 1842, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. C Bean, 1992. "European Unemployment: A Survey," CEP Discussion Papers dp0071, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  16. Marimon, Ramon & Zilibotti, Fabrizio, 1998. "'Actual' versus 'virtual' employment in Europe Is Spain different?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 123-153, January.
  17. Olivier J. Blanchard & Lawrence H. Summers, 1986. "Hysteresis and the European Unemployment Problem," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1986, Volume 1, pages 15-90 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Juhn, Chinhui & Murphy, Kevin M & Pierce, Brooks, 1993. "Wage Inequality and the Rise in Returns to Skill," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(3), pages 410-42, June.
  19. Jovanovic, Boyan, 1979. "Job Matching and the Theory of Turnover," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(5), pages 972-90, October.
  20. Jackman, R & Layard, Richard & Pissarides, C, 1989. "On Vacancies," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 51(4), pages 377-94, November.
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