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High and Persistent Unemployment: Assessment of the Problem and Its Causes

  • Jørgen Elmeskov
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    Unemployment has emerged as one of the most pressing economic concerns in the majority of OECD countries. However, experiences differ across countries as regards the level, volatility and composition of unemployment. Nevertheless, a common feature in many countries is that given levels of wage acceleration, capacity utilisation and vacancy rates are now associated with much higher levels of unemployment than used to be the case two decades ago. Countries seem to differ in the extent to which rising trend unemployment reflects a rise in equilibrium unemployment ("the natural rate") or slow adjustment towards an equilibrium level which is lower than trend unemployment. A number of factors can be pointed to as affecting either equilibrium unemployment or the speed of adjustment in labour markets. Such factors comprise both labour market institutions and policies as well as features that are outside the realm of structural policies. A review of the literature as well as the examination ... Le chômage est apparu comme l'une des préoccupations les plus pressantes dans la majorité des pays de l'OCDE. Cependant, les expériences diffèrent d'un pays à l'autre, en fonction du niveau, de la volatilité et de la composition du chômage. Néanmoins, il se dégage un point commun à bon nombre de pays : des niveaux donnés d'accélération des salaires, d'utilisation des capacités de production et de taux de vacances d'emploi, sont maintenant associés à des niveaux de chômage supérieurs à ceux généralement enregistrés, il y a deux décennies. Des différences semblent apparaître entre les pays dans la mesure où un chômage tendanciel croissant peut reflèter une augmentation du chômage à l'équilibre ("le taux naturel") ou un ralentissement de l'ajustement vers un niveau d'équilibre plus faible que le chômage tendanciel. On peut mettre en évidence un ensemble de facteurs qui affectent soit le chômage à l'équilibre soit la vitesse d'ajustement sur le marché du travail. Cet ensemble comporte ...

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    Paper provided by OECD Publishing in its series OECD Economics Department Working Papers with number 132.

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    Date of creation: 1993
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    Handle: RePEc:oec:ecoaaa:132-en
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