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The Macroeconomics of the Labor Market: Three Fundamental Views

  • Marika Karanassou
  • Hector Sala
  • Dennis Snower

We distinguish and assess three fundamental views of the labor market regarding the movements in unemployment: (i) the frictionless equilibrium view; (ii) the chain reaction theory, or prolonged adjustment view; and (iii) the hysteresis view. While the frictionless view implies a clear compartmentalization between the short- and long-run, the hysteresis view implies that all the short-run ‡uctuations automatically turn into long-run changes in the unemployment rate. We assert the problems faced by these conceptions in explaining the diversity of labor market experiences across the OECD labor markets. We argue that the prolonged adjustment view can overcome these problems since it implies that the short, medium, and long runs are interrelated, merging with one another along an intertemporal continuum.

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Paper provided by Kiel Institute for the World Economy in its series Kiel Working Papers with number 1378.

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Length: 32 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:kie:kieliw:1378
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  1. Marika Karanassou & Dennis J. Snower, 2002. "Unemployment Invariance," Working Papers 476, Queen Mary University of London, School of Economics and Finance.
  2. Marika Karanassou & Hector Sala & Dennis Snower, 2008. "Phillips Curves and Unemployment Dynamics: A Critique and a Holistic Perspective," Kiel Working Papers 1441, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
  3. Olivier Blanchard, 2005. "European Unemployment: The Evolution of Facts and Ideas," NBER Working Papers 11750, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Eric French, 2004. "The Effects of Health, Wealth and Wages on Labor Supply and Retirement Behavior," 2004 Meeting Papers 96, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  5. Karanassou, Marika & Sala, Hector & Snower, Dennis, 2003. "Unemployment in the European Union: a dynamic reappraisal," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 237-273, March.
  6. Edmund Phelps & Gylfi Zoega, 2001. "Structural booms," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 16(32), pages 83-126, 04.
  7. Lindbeck, Assar & Snower, Dennis J., 1987. "Cooperation, Harassment, and Involuntary Unemployment: An Insider-Outsider Approach," CEPR Discussion Papers 196, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Lindbeck, A., 1993. "The Welfare State and the Employment Problem," Papers 561, Stockholm - International Economic Studies.
  9. Heikki Kauppi & Erkki Koskela & Rune Stenbacka, 2004. "Equilibrium Unemployment and Capital Intensity Under Product and Labor Market Imperfections," CESifo Working Paper Series 1343, CESifo Group Munich.
  10. Karanassou, Marika & Sala, Hector & Snower, Dennis J., 2003. "Unemployment in the European Union: Institutions, Prices, and Growth," IZA Discussion Papers 899, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  11. Olivier Blanchard & Justin Wolfers, 1999. "The Role of Shocks and Institutions in the Rise of European Unemployment: The Aggregate Evidence," NBER Working Papers 7282, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Layard, R. & Bean, C., 1988. "Why Does Unemployment Persist?," Papers 321, London School of Economics - Centre for Labour Economics.
  13. Karanassou, Marika & Snower, Dennis J, 1998. "How Labour Market Flexibility Affects Unemployment: Long-Term Implications of the Chain Reaction Theory," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 108(448), pages 832-49, May.
  14. Karanassou, Marika & Snower, Dennis J., 1993. "Explaining Disparities in Unemployment Dynamics," CEPR Discussion Papers 858, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  15. Floden, Martin, 2005. "Labor Supply and Saving under Uncertainty," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 597, Stockholm School of Economics.
  16. Henry, Brian & Karanassou, Marika & Snower, Dennis J, 2000. "Adjustment Dynamics and the Natural Rate: An Account of UK Unemployment," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 52(1), pages 178-203, January.
  17. Lindbeck, Assar & Snower, Dennis J, 1987. "Strike and Lock-Out Threats and Fiscal Policy," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 39(4), pages 760-84, December.
  18. Berndt, Ernst R. & Fuss, Melvyn A., 1986. "Productivity measurement with adjustments for variations in capacity utilization and other forms of temporary equilibrium," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 33(1-2), pages 7-29.
  19. Olivier J. Blanchard & Lawrence H. Summers, 1986. "Hysteresis and the European Unemployment Problem," NBER Working Papers 1950, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. 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).
  21. Olivier Jean Blanchard & Stanley Fischer, 1989. "Lectures on Macroeconomics," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262022834, June.
  22. Marika Karanassou & Dennis Snower, 1996. "Is the Natural Rate a Reference Point?," Archive Discussion Papers 9623, Birkbeck, Department of Economics, Mathematics & Statistics.
  23. Taylor, John B, 1979. "Staggered Wage Setting in a Macro Model," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 69(2), pages 108-13, May.
  24. Rowthorn, Robert, 1999. "Unemployment, Wage Bargaining and Capital-Labour Substitution," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 23(4), pages 413-25, July.
  25. Xavier Raurich & Hector Sala Lorda & Valeri Sorolla, 2004. "Unemployment, growth and fiscal policy: new insights on the hysteresis hypothesis," Working Papers wpdea0404, Department of Applied Economics at Universitat Autonoma of Barcelona.
  26. L. Wade, 1988. "Review," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 58(1), pages 99-100, July.
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