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Unemployment: The Silent Epidemic

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  • Pavlina R. Tcherneva

Abstract

This paper examines two key aspects of unemployment--its propagation mechanism and socioeconomic costs. It identifies a key feature of this macroeconomic phenomenon: it behaves like a disease. A detailed assessment of the transmission mechanism and the existing pecuniary and nonpecuniary costs of unemployment suggests a fundamental shift in the policy responses to tackling joblessness. To stem the contagion effect and its outsized social and economic impact, fiscal policy can be designed around two criteria for successful disease intervention--preparedness and prevention. The paper examines how a job guarantee proposal uniquely meets those two requirements. It is a policy response whose merits include much more than its macroeconomic stabilization features, as discussed in the literature. It is, in a sense, a method of inoculation against the vile effects of unemployment. The paper discusses several preventative features of the program.

Suggested Citation

  • Pavlina R. Tcherneva, 2017. "Unemployment: The Silent Epidemic," Economics Working Paper Archive wp_895, Levy Economics Institute.
  • Handle: RePEc:lev:wrkpap:wp_895
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    6. Stefan Eriksson & Dan-Olof Rooth, 2014. "Do Employers Use Unemployment as a Sorting Criterion When Hiring? Evidence from a Field Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(3), pages 1014-1039, March.
    7. Reichert, Arndt & Tauchmann, Harald, 2011. "The Causal Impact of Fear of Unemployment on Psychological Health," Ruhr Economic Papers 266, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.
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    11. Flavia Dantas & L. Randall Wray, 2017. "Full Employment: Are We There Yet?," Economics Public Policy Brief Archive ppb_142, Levy Economics Institute.
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    14. Anne Case & Angua Deaton, 2015. "Rising morbidity and mortality in midlife among white non-Hispanic Americans in the 21st century," Working Papers 15078.full.pdf, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Research Program in Development Studies..
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    Cited by:

    1. L. Randall Wray & Stephanie A. Kelton & Pavlina R. Tcherneva & Scott Fullwiler & Flavia Dantas, 2018. "Guaranteed Jobs through a Public Service Employment Program," Economics Policy Note Archive 18-2, Levy Economics Institute.
    2. Landwehr, Jannik J., 2020. "The case for a job guarantee policy in Germany: A political-economic analysis of the potential benefits and obstacles," IPE Working Papers 150/2020, Berlin School of Economics and Law, Institute for International Political Economy (IPE).
    3. Wen, Jun & Deng, Peidong & Fu, Qiang & Chang, Chun-Ping, 2022. "Does health innovation relieve disease burden? The comprehensive evidence," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 174(C).
    4. John Komlos, 2019. "The Real U.S. Unemployment Rate Is Twice the Official Rate, and the Phillips Curve," CESifo Working Paper Series 7859, CESifo.
    5. Esteban Cruz-Hidalgo & Dirk H. Ehnts & Pavlina R. Tcherneva, 2019. "Completing the Euro: The Euro Treasury and the Job Guarantee," Revista de Economía Crítica, Asociación de Economía Crítica, vol. 27, pages 100-111.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Unemployment; Epidemic; Mortality; Morbidity; Health; Scarring Effects; Crime; Family; Job Guarantee; Labor Market Dynamics; Involuntary Job Loss; Prevention;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • H1 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government
    • H4 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • I3 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty
    • J08 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - General - - - Labor Economics Policies
    • J6 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers

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