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Unemployment and Productivity Growth: An Empirical Analysis within the Augmented Solow Model

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  • Bräuninger, Michael

    ()

  • Pannenberg, Markus

    () (Bielefeld University of Applied Sciences)

Abstract

Does a country’s level of unemployment have an impact on the long-run growth rate? Incorporating unemployment into a generalised augmented Solow-type growth model, yields some answers to this question. In particular, we show that the impact of unemployment on productivity growth heavily depends on the influence of human capital in the production function. In the traditional Solow model, unemployment has neither an influence on long-run productivity growth nor on the long-run level of productivity. However, if human capital matters, unemployment has a long-run effect on the level of productivity. Moreover, if we allow for endogenous growth within our theoretical framework, unemployment has an impact on long-run productivity growth. Using data from 13 OECD countries from 1960 to 1990 within a dynamic panel data framework, we find supportive evidence that an increase in unemployment indeed reduces the long-run level of productivity. Taken at face value our results suggest that if unemployment would have remained at the level of 1960 then productivity today would be roughly 10% higher than it is.

Suggested Citation

  • Bräuninger, Michael & Pannenberg, Markus, 2000. "Unemployment and Productivity Growth: An Empirical Analysis within the Augmented Solow Model," IZA Discussion Papers 136, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp136
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Robert J. Gordon, 1979. "The "End-of-Expansion" Phenomenon in Short-Run Productivity Behavior," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 10(2), pages 447-462.
    2. Bean, Charles & Pissarides, Christopher, 1993. "Unemployment, consumption and growth," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 37(4), pages 837-854, May.
    3. Bean, Charles R, 1994. "European Unemployment: A Survey," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 32(2), pages 573-619, June.
    4. Caselli, Francesco & Esquivel, Gerardo & Lefort, Fernando, 1996. "Reopening the Convergence Debate: A New Look at Cross-Country Growth Empirics," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 1(3), pages 363-389, September.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    equilibrium unemployment; panel data.; Growth;

    JEL classification:

    • O40 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - General
    • O57 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Comparative Studies of Countries
    • 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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