The Role of Shocks and Institutions in the Rise of European Unemployment: The Aggregate Evidence
Two key facts about European unemployment must be explained: the rise in unemployment since the 1960s, and the heterogeneity of individual country experiences. While adverse shocks can potentially explain much of the rise in unemployment, there is insufficient heterogeneity in these shocks to explain cross-country differences. Alternatively, while explanations focusing on labor market institutions explain cross-country differences explain current heterogeneity well, many of these institutions pre-date the rise in unemployment. Based on a panel of institutions and shocks for 20 OECD nations since 1960, we find that the interaction between shocks and institutions is crucial to explaining both stylized facts. We test two specifications, and each offers significant support for our interactions hypothesis. The first speculation assumes that there are common but unobservable shocks across countries, and that these shocks have a larger and more persistent effect in countries with poor labor market institutions. The second constructs series for the macro shocks, and again finds evidence that the same size shock has differential effects on unemployment when labor market institutions differ. We interpret this as suggesting that institutions determine the relevance of the unemployed to wage-setting, thereby determining the evolution of equilibrium unemployment rates following a shock.
|Date of creation:||Aug 1999|
|Date of revision:|
|Publication status:||published as Economic Journal, Vol. 110 (March 2000): 1-33.|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Mortensen, Dale T. & Pissarides, Christopher A., 1999.
"Job reallocation, employment fluctuations and unemployment,"
Handbook of Macroeconomics,
in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 18, pages 1171-1228
- Dale T. Mortensen & Christopher A. Pissarides, 1999. "Job Reallocation, Employment Fluctuations and Unemployment," CEP Discussion Papers dp0421, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
- Ljungqvist, Lars & Sargent, Thomas J., 1997.
"The European Unemployment Dilemma,"
Working Paper Series
481, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
- Lars Ljungqvist & Thomas J. Sargent, 1996. "The European Unemployment Dilemma," EUI-RSCAS Working Papers 36, European University Institute (EUI), Robert Schuman Centre of Advanced Studies (RSCAS).
- Ljungqvist, Lars & Sargent, Thomas J., 1997. "The European Unemployment Dilemma," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 178, Stockholm School of Economics.
- Lars Ljungqvist & Thomas J. Sargent, 1995. "The European unemployment dilemma," Working Paper Series, Macroeconomic Issues 95-17, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
- Olivier J. Blanchard & Lawrence H. Summers, 1986.
"Hysteresis and the European Unemployment Problem,"
427, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
- Stephen Nickell, 1997. "Unemployment and Labor Market Rigidities: Europe versus North America," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(3), pages 55-74, Summer.
- Stephen Nickell & Brian Bell, 1996.
"Would cutting payroll taxes on the unskilled have a significant effect on unemployment?,"
LSE Research Online Documents on Economics
20687, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
- B Bell & Stephen Nickell, 1996. "Would Cutting Payroll Taxes on the Unskilled Have a Significant Effect on Unemployment?," CEP Discussion Papers dp0276, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
- Lindbeck, Assar, 1995.
"Hazardous Welfare-State Dynamics,"
Working Paper Series
428, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
- Grubb, David B & Jackman, Richard A & Layard, Richard G, 1982. "Causes of the Current Stagflation," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 49(5), pages 707-30, Special I.
- Olivier Blanchard & Pedro Portugal, 1998.
"What Hides Behind An Unemployment Rate: Comparing Portuguese and Us Unemployment,"
w199803, Banco de Portugal, Economics and Research Department.
- Olivier Blanchard & Pedro Portugal, 1998. "What Hides Behind an Umemployment Rate: Comparing Portuguese and U.S. Unemployment," NBER Working Papers 6636, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Lazear, Edward P, 1990. "Job Security Provisions and Employment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 105(3), pages 699-726, August.
- Nickell, Stephen & Layard, Richard, 1999.
"Labor market institutions and economic performance,"
Handbook of Labor Economics,
in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 46, pages 3029-3084
- Nickell, S. & Layard, R., 1997. "Labour Market Institutions and Economic Performance," Papers 23, Centre for Economic Performance & Institute of Economics.
- Richard Layard & Stephen Nickell, 1998. "Labour Market Institutions and Economic Performance," CEP Discussion Papers dp0407, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
- Mortensen, Dale T & Pissarides, Christopher A, 1999. "Unemployment Responses to 'Skill-Biased' Technology Shocks: The Role of Labour Market Policy," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(455), pages 242-65, April.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:7282. 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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.