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Capital Accumulation and Unemployment: New Insights on the Nordic Experience

  • Karanassou, Marika

    ()

    (Queen Mary, University of London)

  • Sala, Hector

    ()

    (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona)

  • Salvador, Pablo F.

    ()

    (Universidad Nacional de Cuyo)

This paper takes a fresh look at the analysis of labour market dynamics and argues that capital accumulation plays a fundamental role in shaping unemployment movements. This role has generally been examined by considering indirect transmission channels of the capital stock effects, i.e. using variables like interest rates or investment ratios in the estimation of single-equation unemployment rate models. Here we advocate a different approach. We directly estimate the effects of capital stock in the labour market by applying the chain reaction theory of unemployment, and we find that capital stock is a major determinant of unemployment in the Nordic countries. In particular, the different unemployment experiences of these economies derive from the temporary (albeit prolonged) negative shocks to capital stock growth in Denmark and Sweden, and the permanent downturn of capital stock growth in Finland. We are thus able to explain why the crisis of the early 1990s had a more acute impact in Finland than in its twin economy, Sweden.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 3066.

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Length: 28 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2007
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Cambridge Journal of Economics, 2008, 32 (6), 977-1001
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp3066
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  1. Raurich, Xavier & Sala, Hector & Sorolla, Valeri, 2004. "Unemployment, Growth and Fiscal Policy: New Insights on the Hysteresis Hypothesis," IZA Discussion Papers 1127, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Jim Malley & Thomas Moutos, 2000. "Capital Accumulation and Unemployment: A Tale of Two "Continents"," CESifo Working Paper Series 236, CESifo Group Munich.
  3. Marika Karanassou & Hector Sala & Dennis J. Snower, 2003. "Unemployment in the European Union: Institutions, Prices, and Growth," Working Papers 493, Queen Mary University of London, School of Economics and Finance.
  4. Karanassou, Marika & Sala, Hector & Snower, Dennis J., 2006. "Phillips Curves and Unemployment Dynamics: A Critique and a Holistic Perspective," IZA Discussion Papers 2265, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Bande, Roberto & Karanassou, Marika, 2007. "Labour Market Flexibility and Regional Unemployment Rate Dynamics: Spain 1980-1995," IZA Discussion Papers 2593, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Arestis, Philip & Mariscal, Iris Biefang-Frisancho, 2000. "Capital Stock, Unemployment and Wages in the UK and Germany," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 47(5), pages 487-503, November.
  7. Marika Karanassou & Hector Sala & Dennis J. Snower, 2002. "Unemployment in the European Union: A Dynamic Reappraisal," Working Papers 480, Queen Mary University of London, School of Economics and Finance.
  8. Layard, Richard & Nickell, Stephen & Jackman, Richard, 2005. "Unemployment: Macroeconomic Performance and the Labour Market," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199279173, December.
  9. Karanassou, Marika & Snower, Dennis J., 2002. "Unemployment Invariance," IZA Discussion Papers 530, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  10. Jaakko Pehkonen, 1999. "Wage formation in Finland, 1960-1994," Finnish Economic Papers, Finnish Economic Association, vol. 12(2), pages 82-91, Autumn.
  11. Sujit Kapadia, 2003. "The Capital Stock and Equilibrium Unemployment: A New Theoretical Perspective," Economics Series Working Papers 181, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  12. Jaakko Kiander & Jaakko Pehkonen, 1999. "Finnish unemployment: observations and conjectures," Finnish Economic Papers, Finnish Economic Association, vol. 12(2), pages 94-108, Autumn.
  13. M. Hashem Pesaran & Yongcheol Shin & Richard J. Smith, 2001. "Bounds testing approaches to the analysis of level relationships," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 16(3), pages 289-326.
  14. Philip Arestis & Michelle Baddeley & Malcolm Sawyer, 2007. "The Relationship Between Capital Stock, Unemployment And Wages In Nine Emu Countries," Bulletin of Economic Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 59(2), pages 125-148, 04.
  15. Koskela, Erkki & Uusitalo, Roope, 2004. "Unintended convergence : how Finnish unemployment reached the European level," Research Discussion Papers 6/2004, Bank of Finland.
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