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The European Employment Problem

Author

Listed:
  • Lindbeck, Assar

    () (Institute for International Economic Studies, Stockholm University)

Abstract

How do we explain the poor employment performance in Western Europe since about the mid-1970s? This question is in fact twofold: what initiated the dramatic rise in unemployment, and what mechanisms have made it continue for so long? My attempts to answer these questions form the basis for a discussion of various policy options. A main point of the paper is the complex interaction, often in the form of complementarities, between different explanatory factors behind the West European employment problem. Unfortunately, this complexity makes it difficult to test and estimate attempted explanations. Moreover, the complementarities between different factors often preclude any positive effects of isolated policy actions on the employment situation; a battery of policy actions seems necessary.

Suggested Citation

  • Lindbeck, Assar, 1997. "The European Employment Problem," Seminar Papers 616, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:iiessp:0616
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Bean, Charles R, 1994. "European Unemployment: A Survey," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 32(2), pages 573-619, June.
    2. David T. Coe & Dennis J. Snower, 1997. "Policy Complementarities: The Case for Fundamental Labor Market Reform," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 44(1), pages 1-35, March.
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    4. Laurence M. Ball, 1997. "Disinflation and the NAIRU," NBER Chapters,in: Reducing Inflation: Motivation and Strategy, pages 167-194 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Snower, Dennis J, 1994. "Converting Unemployment Benefits into Employment Subsidies," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(2), pages 65-70, May.
    6. Freeman, Richard B, 1995. "The Large Welfare State as a System," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(2), pages 16-21, May.
    7. Nickell, Stephen & Bell, Brian, 1996. "Changes in the Distribution of Wages and Unemployment in OECD Countries," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(2), pages 302-308, May.
    8. Anders Bjorklund & Richard B. Freeman, 1997. "Generating Equality and Eliminating Poverty, the Swedish Way," NBER Chapters,in: The Welfare State in Transition: Reforming the Swedish Model, pages 33-78 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Paul R. Krugman, 1994. "Past and prospective causes of high unemployment," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, issue Jan, pages 49-98.
    10. Robert J. Gordon, 1987. "Wage Gaps vs. Output Gaps: Is There a Common Story for All of Europe?," NBER Working Papers 2454, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Michael Bruno & Jeffrey D. Sachs, 1985. "Economics of Worldwide Stagflation," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number brun85-1, April.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    unemployment; policy;

    JEL classification:

    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity

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