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Squandering European Labor: Social Safety Nets in Times of Economic Turbulence

  • Ljungqvist, Lars

    ()

    (Dept. of Economics, Stockholm School of Economics)

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    This paper reviews the argument that high long-term unemployment in Europe is caused by generous social safety nets in times of economic turbulence. We report on the empirical evidence of a more turbulent economic environment and present the theoretical arguments that establish a link between turbulence and high unemployment. We conclude that a cure to the European unemployment problem must entail a reform of the unemployment insurance system so that benefits decline over the unemployment spell. If the social consensus in Europe makes it difficult to implement declining benefits, we suggest that a complementary way of providing incentives for the unemployed would be to reduce their leisure by imposing work requirements.

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    Paper provided by Stockholm School of Economics in its series SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance with number 321.

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    Length: 30 pages
    Date of creation: 31 May 1999
    Date of revision:
    Publication status: Published in Scottish Journal of Political Economy, 1999, pages 367-388.
    Handle: RePEc:hhs:hastef:0321
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