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The Rise and Fall of Swedish Unemployment

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  • Holmlund, Bertil

    () (Department of Economics)

Abstract

By international standards, unemployment in Sweden remained remarkably low throughout the 1970s and the 1980s. In the early 1990s, however, the unemployment rate skyrocketed and hit double-digit levels. Unemployment remained high for several years but exhibited a marked fall from 1997 and onwards. The paper describes this development and discusses the causes of the rise and fall of unemployment. It is argued that the steep rise in unemployment was mainly the result of a series of adverse macroeconomic shocks, partly self-inflicted by bad policies and partly caused by unfavourable international developments. Institutional factors, such as a trend increase in the generosity of unemployment insurance, caused some secular rise in NAIRU but do not appear as promising explanations of the events of the early 1990s. The fall in unemployment in the late 1990s reflects a combination of favorable macroeconomic conditions and structural factors that may have reduced the NAIRU.

Suggested Citation

  • Holmlund, Bertil, 2003. "The Rise and Fall of Swedish Unemployment," Working Paper Series 2003:13, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:uunewp:2003_013
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    Cited by:

    1. Burak GÜRIŞ & İpek M. YURTTAGÜLER & Muhammed TIRAŞOĞLU, 2017. "Unemployment convergence analysis for Nordic countries: Evidence from linear and nonlinear unit root tests," Theoretical and Applied Economics, Asociatia Generala a Economistilor din Romania - AGER, vol. 0(1(610), S), pages 45-56, Spring.
    2. Marcus Eliason & Donald Storrie, 2003. "The Echo of Job Displacement," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 2003-618, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
    3. Ruy Lama & Juan Pablo Medina Guzman, 2015. "Fiscal Consolidation During Times of High Unemployment; The Role of Productivity Gains and Wage Restraint," IMF Working Papers 15/262, International Monetary Fund.
    4. Alexius, Annika & Holmlund, Bertil, 2007. "Monetary Policy and Swedish Unemployment Fluctuations," Working Paper Series 2007:17, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
    5. Peter Fredriksson & Robert H. Topel, 2010. "Wage Determination and Employment in Sweden Since the Early 1990s: Wage Formation in a New Setting," NBER Chapters,in: Reforming the Welfare State: Recovery and Beyond in Sweden, pages 83-126 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Oskar Nordström Skans & Per-Anders Edin & Bertil Holmlund, 2009. "Wage Dispersion Between and Within Plants: Sweden 1985-2000," NBER Chapters,in: The Structure of Wages: An International Comparison, pages 217-260 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Holmlund, Bertil & Alexius, Annika, 2008. "Monetary Policy and Swedish Unemployment Fluctuations," Economics - The Open-Access, Open-Assessment E-Journal, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW), vol. 2, pages 1-25.
    8. Forslund, Anders & Gottfries, Nils & Westermark, Andreas, 2005. "Real and Nominal Wage Adjustment in Open Economies," Working Paper Series 2005:18, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
    9. Thomas Aronsson & Sören Blomquist, 2008. "Redistribution and Provision of Public Goods in an Economic Federation," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 10(1), pages 125-143, February.
    10. Burak GÜRIŞ & İpek M. YURTTAGÜLER & Muhammed TIRAŞOĞLU, 2017. "Unemployment convergence analysis for Nordic countries: Evidence from linear and nonlinear unit root tests," Theoretical and Applied Economics, Asociatia Generala a Economistilor din Romania - AGER, vol. 0(1(610), S), pages 45-56, Spring.
    11. Blomquist, Sören & Christiansen, Vidar, 2004. "Taxation and Heterogeneous Preferences," Working Paper Series 2004:9, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
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    13. Marcus Eliason, 2012. "Lost jobs, broken marriages," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, pages 1365-1397.
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    15. Hensvik, Lena & Müller, Dagmar & Nordström Skans, Oskar, 2017. "Connecting the Young: high school graduates' matching to first jobs in booms and great recessions," Working Paper Series 2017:2, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
    16. Erixon, Lennart, 2005. "Travelling Along the Third Way. A Swedish Model of Stabilisation, Equity and Growth," Research Papers in Economics 2005:10, Stockholm University, Department of Economics.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Unemployment; employment; macroeconomic shocks; labor market institutions;

    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
    • J60 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - General
    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search

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