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Are Unemployment Rates in OECD Countries Stationary? Evidence from Univariate and Panel Unit Root Tests

Author

Listed:
  • Khraief, Naceur

    () (University of Sousse)

  • Shahbaz, Muhammad

    () (COMSATS Institute of Information Technology)

  • Heshmati, Almas

    () (Jönköping University, Sogang University)

  • Azam, Muhammad

    () (Universiti Utara Malaysia)

Abstract

This paper revisits the dynamics of unemployment rate for 29 OECD countries over the period of 1980-2013. Numerous empirical studies of the dynamics of unemployment rate are carried out within a linear framework. However, unemployment rate can show nonlinear behaviour as a result of business cycles or some idiosyncratic factors specific to labour market (Cancelo, 2007). Thus, as a testing strategy we first perform Harvey et al. (2008) linearity unit root test and then apply the newly ESTAR nonlinear unit root test suggested by Kruse (2011). This test has higher power than conventional unit root tests when time series exhibits nonlinear behaviour. Our empirical findings provide significant evidence in favour of unemployment rate stationarity for 25 countries. For robustness purpose, we have also used panel unit root tests without and with structural breaks. The results show that unemployment hysteresis hypothesis is strongly rejected when taking into account the cross-sectional and structural break assumptions. Thus, unemployment rates are expected to return back to their natural levels without executing any costly macroeconomic labour market policies by the OECD's governments.

Suggested Citation

  • Khraief, Naceur & Shahbaz, Muhammad & Heshmati, Almas & Azam, Muhammad, 2015. "Are Unemployment Rates in OECD Countries Stationary? Evidence from Univariate and Panel Unit Root Tests," IZA Discussion Papers 9571, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp9571
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Vakulenko, E. & Gurvich, E., 2016. "Real Wage Flexibility in Russia: Comparative Analysis," Journal of the New Economic Association, New Economic Association, vol. 31(3), pages 67-92.
    2. Luis A. Gil-Alana & Zeynel Abidin Ozdemir & Aysit Tansel, 2017. "Long memory in Turkish Unemployment Rates," Working Papers 2017/5, Turkish Economic Association.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    unemployment; unit root; labour market policy; OECD;

    JEL classification:

    • C23 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • J48 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Particular Labor Markets; Public Policy
    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search
    • N30 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - General, International, or Comparative

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