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A Theorem for Okun's Law

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  • Adama Zerbo

    (GED, Université de Bordeaux)

Abstract

This paper has stated the theoretical framework of Okun's law (LO) and an integrated IS-LM-LO model to better understand the effects of economic policies on unemployment. Stated and demonstrated, the Okun law theorem confirms the existence of a negative link between economic growth and variation in the unemployment rate. However, this Okun relation cannot be considered stable. Among other things, demographic shocks, shocks onto the average real wage, real gross profits, importation duties and net taxes on goods and services induce structural changes in Okun's relation. The structural change in Okun's relation can be virtuous or vicious. When economic dynamic generates a vicious structural change in Okun's relation so that the Okun new threshold it induces is always higher than the observed economic growth rate, the unemployment rate increases. Economic growth has a greater impact on unemployment when it is strong and engenders a virtuous structural change in Okun's relation. Thus, analysis of the IS-LM-LO model shows that, though fiscal or monetary policy have a positive effect on economic growth, it would lead to an increasing unemployment if it engenders a vicious structural change in Okun’s relation. The most effective economic recovery policy to take on unemployment is the one that, in addition to accelerating economic growth, induces a virtuous structural change in Okun's relation. Ce papier a développé les fondements théoriques de la loi d’Okun (LO) et un modèle intégré IS-LM-LO permettant de mieux cerner les effets de politiques économiques sur le chômage. Enoncé et démontré, le théorème de la loi d’Okun confirme l’existence d’une relation négative entre le taux de croissance économique et la variation du taux de chômage. Cependant, cette relation d’Okun ne peut pas être considérée comme stable. Entre autres, les chocs démographiques, les chocs sur le salaire réel moyen, les profits bruts réels, les droits à l’importation et taxes nettes sur les biens et services induisent des changements structurels dans la relation d’Okun. Le changement structurel dans la relation d’Okun peut être vertueux ou vicieux. Lorsque la dynamique économique engendre un changement structurel vicieux dans la relation d’Okun de sorte que le nouveau seuil d’Okun qu’elle induit est toujours supérieur au taux de croissance observé, le taux de chômage augmente. La croissance économique a un impact plus important sur le chômage lorsqu’elle est forte et engendre un changement structurel vertueux dans la relation d’Okun. Ainsi, de l’analyse du modèle IS-LM-LO, il ressort que la politique budgétaire et/ou monétaire, bien qu’ayant un effet positif sur la croissance économique, entrainerait une hausse du chômage si elle engendre un changement structurel vicieux dans la relation d’Okun. La politique de relance économique la plus efficace dans la lutte contre le chômage est celle qui, en plus d’accélérer la croissance, induit un changement structurel vertueux dans la relation d’Okun.(Full text in english)

Suggested Citation

  • Adama Zerbo, 2018. "A Theorem for Okun's Law," Documents de travail 180, Groupe d'Economie du Développement de l'Université Montesquieu Bordeaux IV.
  • Handle: RePEc:mon:ceddtr:180
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Luca Zanin & Giampiero Marra, 2012. "Rolling Regression Versus Time‐Varying Coefficient Modelling: An Empirical Investigation Of The Okun'S Law In Some Euro Area Countries," Bulletin of Economic Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 64(1), pages 91-108, January.
    2. Prachowny, Martin F J, 1993. "Okun's Law: Theoretical Foundations and Revised Estimates," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 75(2), pages 331-336, May.
    3. Adama Zerbo, 2016. "Essai d'une théorie générale de la firme," Documents de travail 175, Groupe d'Economie du Développement de l'Université Montesquieu Bordeaux IV.
    4. Edward S. Knotek, 2007. "How useful is Okun's law?," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, vol. 92(Q IV), pages 73-103.
    5. Adama Zerbo, 2017. "Croissance économique et chômage : les fondements de la loi d'Okun et le modèle IS-LM-LO," Documents de travail 176, Groupe d'Economie du Développement de l'Université Montesquieu Bordeaux IV.
    6. Leopold Sogner & Alfred Stiassny, 2002. "An analysis on the structural stability of Okun's law--a cross-country study," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 34(14), pages 1775-1787.
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    More about this item

    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
    • E63 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Comparative or Joint Analysis of Fiscal and Monetary Policy; Stabilization; Treasury Policy

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