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Unemployment, Labour Market Institutions and Shocks

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This paper aims to explain the cross sectional differences in, and the time series evolution of, OECD unemployment from 1960 to 1995. We want to know how much of it can be accounted for by changes in labour market institutions, and the interactions of institutions and macroeconomic shocks. Our aim is also to verify the consistency of unemployment fluctuations with the labour cost results presented in Nunziata (2001). Our findings suggest that labour market institutions have a direct significant impact on unemployment in a fashion that is broadly consistent with their impact on real labour costs. Broad movements in unemployment across the OECD can be explained by shifts in labour market institutions, although this explanation relies on high levels of endogenous persistence. We cannot rule out a significant role for institutions through their interaction with adverse shocks, although the estimates do not appear extremely robust in this case. In contrast, the direct effect of institutions still holds when we include the possibility of interactions between shocks and institutions.

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File URL: http://www.nuff.ox.ac.uk/economics/papers/2002/w16/p4unemploymentWP.pdf
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Paper provided by Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford in its series Economics Papers with number 2002-W16.

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Length: 40 pages
Date of creation: 11 Jun 2002
Handle: RePEc:nuf:econwp:0216
Contact details of provider: Web page: https://www.nuffield.ox.ac.uk/economics/

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  1. Michèle Belot & Jan C. van Ours, 2004. "Does the recent success of some OECD countries in lowering their unemployment rates lie in the clever design of their labor market reforms?," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 56(4), pages 621-642, October.
  2. Belot, Michele & van Ours, Jan C., 2001. "Unemployment and Labor Market Institutions: An Empirical Analysis," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 15(4), pages 403-418, December.
  3. Luca Nunziata, 2005. "Institutions and Wage Determination: a Multi-country Approach," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 67(4), pages 435-466, August.
  4. Blanchard, Olivier & Wolfers, Justin, 2000. "The Role of Shocks and Institutions in the Rise of European Unemployment: The Aggregate Evidence," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(462), pages 1-33, March.
  5. Luca NUNZIATA & Stefano STAFFOLANI, 2001. "On Short-term Contracts Regulations," Working Papers 150, Universita' Politecnica delle Marche (I), Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche e Sociali.
  6. 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 Elsevier.
  7. Bertola, Giuseppe & Blau, Francine D & Kahn, Lawrence, 2001. "Comparative Analysis of Labour Market Outcomes: Lessons for the US from International Long-Run Evidence," CEPR Discussion Papers 3023, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  10. Francesco Daveri & Guido Tabellini, 2000. "Unemployment, growth and taxation in industrial countries," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 15(30), pages 47-104, April.
  11. 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.
  12. Jean-Paul Fitoussi & David Jestaz & Edmund S. Phelps & Gylfi Zoega, 2000. "Roots of the Recent Recoveries: Labor Reforms or Private Sector Forces?," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 31(1), pages 237-311.
  13. Phillips, P C B, 1987. "Time Series Regression with a Unit Root," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(2), pages 277-301, March.
  14. McElroy, Marjorie B., 1977. "Weaker MSE criteria and tests for linear restrictions in regression models with non-spherical disturbances," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 6(3), pages 389-394, November.
  15. Maddala, G S & Wu, Shaowen, 1999. " A Comparative Study of Unit Root Tests with Panel Data and a New Simple Test," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 61(0), pages 631-652, Special I.
  16. Phillips, P C B, 1987. "Time Series Regression with a Unit Root," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(2), pages 277-301, March.
  17. Nickell, Stephen J, 1981. "Biases in Dynamic Models with Fixed Effects," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(6), pages 1417-1426, November.
  18. Judson, Ruth A. & Owen, Ann L., 1999. "Estimating dynamic panel data models: a guide for macroeconomists," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 9-15, October.
  19. Nickell, Stephen, 1998. "Unemployment: Questions and Some Answers," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 108(448), pages 802-816, May.
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