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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. 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).
  2. Marika Karanassou & Dennis J. Snower, 2002. "Unemployment Invariance," Working Papers 476, Queen Mary University of London, School of Economics and Finance.
  3. L. Wade, 1988. "Review," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 58(1), pages 99-100, July.
  4. 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).
  5. Rowthorn, Robert, 1999. "Unemployment, Wage Bargaining and Capital-Labour Substitution," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 23(4), pages 413-25, July.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Sujit Kapadia, 2003. "The Capital Stock and Equilibrium Unemployment: A New Theoretical Perspective," Economics Series Working Papers 181, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  10. 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.
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  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. Blanchard, Olivier & Wolfers, Justin, 2000. "The Role of Shocks and Institutions in the Rise of European Unemployment: The Aggregate Evidence," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(462), pages C1-33, March.
  15. Karanassou, Marika & Snower, Dennis J., 1996. "Is the Natural Rate a Reference Point?," CEPR Discussion Papers 1507, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  16. Lindbeck, A., 1993. "The Welfare State and the Employment Problem," Papers 561, Stockholm - International Economic Studies.
  17. Karanassou, Marika & Snower, Dennis J., 1993. "Explaining Disparities in Unemployment Dynamics," CEPR Discussion Papers 858, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  18. Olivier J. Blanchard & Lawrence H. Summers, 1986. "Hysteresis and the European Unemployment Problem," Working papers 427, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  19. 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.
  20. Layard, Richard & Bean, Charles, 1989. " Why Does Unemployment Persist?," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 91(2), pages 371-96.
  21. Roberto Bande & Marika Karanassou, 2006. "Labour Market Flexibility and Regional Unemployment Rate Dynamics: Spain 1980-1995," Working Papers 574, Queen Mary University of London, School of Economics and Finance.
  22. Olivier Blanchard, 2005. "European Unemployment: The Evolution of Facts and Ideas," NBER Working Papers 11750, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  23. Eric French, 2000. "The effects of health, wealth, and wages on labor supply and retirement behavior," Working Paper Series WP-00-2, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  24. 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.
  25. Taylor, John B, 1979. "Staggered Wage Setting in a Macro Model," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 69(2), pages 108-13, May.
  26. Olivier Jean Blanchard & Stanley Fischer, 1989. "Lectures on Macroeconomics," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262022834.
  27. Edmund Phelps & Gylfi Zoega, 2001. "Structural booms," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 16(32), pages 83-126, 04.
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