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

Listed author(s):
  • Khraief, Naceur

    ()

    (University of Sousse)

  • Shahbaz, Muhammad

    ()

    (COMSATS Institute of Information Technology)

  • Heshmati, Almas

    ()

    (Jönköping University, Sogang University)

  • Azam, Muhammad

    ()

    (Universiti Utara Malaysia)

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.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 9571.

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Length: 34 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2015
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp9571
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  1. Cheng, Shu-Ching & Wu, Tsung-pao & Lee, Kuei-Chiu & Chang, Tsangyao, 2014. "Flexible Fourier unit root test of unemployment for PIIGS countries," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 142-148.
  2. Mariam Camarero & Josep Lluís Carrion-i-Silvestre & Cecilio Tamarit, 2006. "Testing for Hysteresis in Unemployment in OECD Countries: New Evidence using Stationarity Panel Tests with Breaks," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 68(2), pages 167-182, April.
  3. Breuer, Janice Boucher & McNown, Robert & Wallace, Myles S, 2001. "Misleading Inferences from Panel Unit-Root Tests with an Illustration from Purchasing Power Parity," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 9(3), pages 482-493, August.
  4. Olivier J. Blanchard & Lawrence H. Summers, 1986. "Hysteresis and the European Unemployment Problem," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1986, Volume 1, pages 15-90 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Mehmet Caner & Bruce E. Hansen, 2001. "Threshold Autoregression with a Unit Root," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(6), pages 1555-1596, November.
  6. Hsu-Ling Chang & De-Chih Liu & Chi-Wei Su, 2012. "Purchasing power parity with flexible Fourier stationary test for Central and Eastern European countries," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 44(32), pages 4249-4256, November.
  7. Walter Enders & Junsoo Lee, 2012. "A Unit Root Test Using a Fourier Series to Approximate Smooth Breaks," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 74(4), pages 574-599, August.
  8. Philip Arestis & Iris Biefang-Frisancho Mariscal, 2000. "OECD unemployment: structural breaks and stationarity," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 32(4), pages 399-403.
  9. Abadir, Karim M. & Distaso, Walter, 2007. "Testing joint hypotheses when one of the alternatives is one-sided," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 140(2), pages 695-718, October.
  10. Choi, In, 2001. "Unit root tests for panel data," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 249-272, April.
  11. Tsangyao Chang & Kuei-Chiu Lee & Chien-Chung Nieh & Ching-Chun Wei, 2005. "An empirical note on testing hysteresis in unemployment for ten European countries: panel SURADF approach," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 12(14), pages 881-886.
  12. Clemente, Jesus & Montanes, Antonio & Reyes, Marcelo, 1998. "Testing for a unit root in variables with a double change in the mean," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 59(2), pages 175-182, May.
  13. Chang, Tsangyao & Lee, Chia-Hao, 2011. "Hysteresis in Unemployment for G-7 Countries: Threshold Unit Root Test," Journal for Economic Forecasting, Institute for Economic Forecasting, vol. 0(4), pages 5-14, December.
  14. Camarero, Mariam & Tamarit, Cecilio, 2004. "Hysteresis vs. natural rate of unemployment: new evidence for OECD countries," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 84(3), pages 413-417, September.
  15. Dimitris K. Christopoulos, 2007. "Unemployment hysteresis in EU countries: what do we really know about it?," Journal of Economic Studies, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 34(2), pages 80-89, May.
  16. Su, Chi-Wei & Chang, Hsu-Ling & Liu, Lin, 2012. "Real interest rate parity with Flexible Fourier stationary test for Central and Eastern European countries," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 29(6), pages 2719-2723.
  17. Suleyman Bolat & Aviral Kumar Tiwari & Ahmet Utku Erdayi, 2014. "Unemployment hysteresis in the Eurozone area: evidences from nonlinear heterogeneous panel unit root test," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 21(8), pages 536-540, May.
  18. Arestis, Philip & Biefang-Frisancho Mariscal, Iris, 1999. "Unit roots and structural breaks in OECD unemployment," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 65(2), pages 149-156, November.
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