IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

Evaluating the European View that the US has No Unemployment Problem

Listed author(s):
  • Richard B. Freeman

This study contrasts the labor market performance of the U.S. and OECD Europe in the 1980s and critically evaluates the view that the U.S. has generated more jobs because its labor market is more 'flexible'. The study finds that the greater employment expansion in the U.S. was associated with slower growth of real wages and productivity than in most of OECD Europe rather than with relatively costless flexibility. It also finds that while some aspects of relative wage flexibility, for instance in youth versus adult wages, helped limit U.S. unemployment, other aspects, for instance regional wage, show no greater flexibility in the U.S. than in the U.K., where labor markets are allegedly less flexible. Finally, the study argues that the disparate experiences of the U.K., with a relatively decentralized labor market, and Sweden, with a centralized wage-setting system, show that decentralized labor markets are neither necessary nor sufficient for employment-enhancing wage settlements.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 2562.

in new window

Date of creation: Apr 1988
Publication status: published as Freeman, Richard. "Evaluating the European View that the US has No Unemployment Problem," from American Economic Review, Vol. 78, No. 2, pp. 294-299 , May 1988.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:2562
Note: LS
Contact details of provider: Postal:
National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.

Phone: 617-868-3900
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

No references listed on IDEAS
You can help add them by filling out this form.

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:2562. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ()

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.