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The Capital Stock and Equilibrium Unemployment: A New Theoretical Perspective

  • Sujit Kapadia

    (Balliol College, Oxford University)

By assuming Cobb-Douglas production technology, many well-known imperfectly competitive macroeconomic models of the labour market (e.g. Layard, Nickell and Jackman, 1991) imply that equilibrium unemployment is independent of the capital stock. This paper introduces a new notion of capacity into the standard framework. Specifically, we adapt the Cobb-Douglas production function so that when the capital-labour ratio drops below a certain threshold, the returns to labour fall while the returns to capital increase. Using this assumption, we show that equilibrium unemployment depends on the capital stock over a certain range. We also briefly discuss the generalisation for an endogenous capital stock.

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Paper provided by Money Macro and Finance Research Group in its series Money Macro and Finance (MMF) Research Group Conference 2004 with number 88.

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Date of creation: 17 Sep 2004
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Handle: RePEc:mmf:mmfc04:88
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.essex.ac.uk/afm/mmf/index.html

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  1. Oswald, Andrew J, 1982. "The Microeconomic Theory of the Trade Union," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 92(367), pages 576-95, September.
  2. Carlin, Wendy & Soskice, David, 1990. "Macroeconomics and the Wage Bargain: A Modern Approach to Employment, Inflation, and the Exchange Rate," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198772446, March.
  3. Blanchard, Olivier Jean & Kiyotaki, Nobuhiro, 1987. "Monopolistic Competition and the Effects of Aggregate Demand," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(4), pages 647-66, September.
  4. 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.
  5. Camille Logeay & Silke Tober, 2003. "Time-varying Nairu and Real Interest Rates in the Euro Area," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 351, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  6. Manning, Alan, 1992. "Multiple equilibria in the British labour market : Some empirical evidence," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 36(7), pages 1333-1365, October.
  7. C Bean, 1992. "European Unemployment: A Survey," CEP Discussion Papers dp0071, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  8. Layard, Richard & Nickell, Stephen & Jackman, Richard, 1991. "Unemployment: Macroeconomic Performance and the Labour Market," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198284345, March.
  9. Oswald, Andrew J., 1993. "Efficient contracts are on the labour demand curve : Theory and facts," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 85-113, June.
  10. Laurence Ball, 1999. "Aggregate demand and Long-Run Unemployment," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 30(2), pages 189-252.
  11. Blanchard, Olivier & Jimeno, Juan F, 1995. "Structural Unemployment: Spain versus Portugal," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(2), pages 212-18, May.
  12. Ronald Schettkat, 2003. "Are institutional rigidities at the root of European unemployment?," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 27(6), pages 771-787, November.
  13. Andrew Glyn, 2003. "Labor Market Institutions and Unemployment: A Critical Assessment of the Cross-Country Evidence," Economics Series Working Papers 168, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  14. Constantinos Alexiou & Christos Pitelis, 2003. "On capital shortages and European unemployment: a panel data investigation," Journal of Post Keynesian Economics, M.E. Sharpe, Inc., vol. 25(4), pages 613-640, July.
  15. Natasha Miaouli, 2001. "Employment and Capital Accumulation in Unionised Labour Markets: Evidence from five south-European countries," International Review of Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 15(1), pages 5-29.
  16. McKibbin, Warwick J & Vines, David, 2000. "Modelling Reality: The Need for Both Inter-temporal Optimization and Stickiness in Models for Policy-Making," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 16(4), pages 106-37, Winter.
  17. Arestis, Philip & Mariscal, Iris Biefang-Frisancho, 2000. "Capital Stock, Unemployment and Wages in the UK and Germany," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 47(5), pages 487-503, November.
  18. Horst Siebert, 1997. "Labor Market Rigidities: At the Root of Unemployment in Europe," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(3), pages 37-54, Summer.
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