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The Concept, Policy Use and Measurement of Structural Unemployment: Estimating a Time Varying NAIRU Across 21 OECD Countries

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  • Pete Richardson
  • Laurence Boone
  • Claude Giorno
  • Mara Meacci
  • David Rae
  • David Turner

Abstract

The structural rate of unemployment and associated non-accelerating inflation rate of unemployment (the NAIRU) are of major importance to the analysis of macro and structural economic developments, although in practice these concepts are not well defined and there is considerable uncertainty and controversy concerning their measurement and policy use. The present paper reviews a range of conceptual and analytical issues and related empirical studies to examine the usefulness and limitations of such concepts. A reduced-form Phillips curve approach is found the most suitable conceptual framework for representing the NAIRU as currently used by the OECD in its policy analysis and surveillance work. Three distinct classes of NAIRU concept are identified, distinguished by the time-frame in which they are defined, which map directly into the broad requirements for macro and structural policy analysis. In line with a number of recent empirical studies, this general approach is applied ... Les concepts de taux de chômage structurel et NAIRU (non accelerating inflation rate of unemployment) jouent un rôle important pour l’analyse macro-économique et des développements structurels de l’économie, même si, en pratique, ces concepts ne sont pas définis précisément, leur estimation est entachée d’incertitude et leur utilisation pour la politique économique souvent controversée. Ce papier présente une revue des concepts, discussions analytiques et études empiriques liés au NAIRU, afin de définir l’utilité éventuelle de ces concepts et leurs limites. Dans le cadre d’analyse des politiques économiques et travaux de surveillance menés par l’OCDE, le concept de NAIRU dérivé d’une courbe de Phillips de forme réduite apparaît le plus utile. Trois notions de NAIRU peuvent être distinguées, suivant l’horizon temporel de référence, et qui peuvent être directement reliées à des cadres d’analyse de politique macro-économique et structurelle. Suivant les développements récents de la ...

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  • Pete Richardson & Laurence Boone & Claude Giorno & Mara Meacci & David Rae & David Turner, 2000. "The Concept, Policy Use and Measurement of Structural Unemployment: Estimating a Time Varying NAIRU Across 21 OECD Countries," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 250, OECD Publishing.
  • Handle: RePEc:oec:ecoaaa:250-en
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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/785730283515
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    1. Hervé, Karine & Pain, Nigel & Richardson, Pete & Sédillot, Franck & Beffy, Pierre-Olivier, 2011. "The OECD's new global model," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 589-601.
    2. Eric Heyer & Frédéric Reynès & Henri Sterdyniak, 2004. "Observable and unobservable variables in the theory of the equilibrium rate of unemployment, a comparison between France and the United States," Working Papers hal-01027420, HAL.
    3. Eric Heyer, 2010. "Efficacité de la politique économique et position dans le cycle: le cas de la défiscalisation des heures supplémentaires en France," Documents de Travail de l'OFCE 2010-26, Observatoire Francais des Conjonctures Economiques (OFCE).
    4. Emilie Jašová & Božena Kadeřábková & Klára Čermáková & Pavel Procházka, 2016. "Působení institucionálních faktorů na strukturální a cyklickou nezaměstnanost v zemích Visegrádské skupiny
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    6. Katerina Arnostova & Oxana Babecka Kucharcukova & Jan Babecky & Vojtech Belling & Sona Benecka & Jan Bruha & Martin Gurtler & Tomas Holub & Eva Hromadkova & Lubos Komarek & Zlatuse Komarkova & Petr Kr, 2016. "Analyses of the Czech Republic's Current Economic Alignment with the Euro Area 2016," Occasional Publications - Edited Volumes, Czech National Bank, Research Department, number as16 edited by Katerina Arnostova & Lucie Matejkova, June.
    7. Tomas Adam & Oxana Babecka Kucharcukova & Jan Babecky & Vojtech Belling & Sona Benecka & Jan Bruha & Kamil Galuscak & Tomas Holub & Eva Hromadkova & Lubos Komarek & Zlatuse Komarkova & Kamila Kulhava , 2015. "Analyses of the Czech Republic's Current Economic Alignment with the Euro Area 2015," Occasional Publications - Edited Volumes, Czech National Bank, Research Department, number as15 edited by Kamila Kulhava & Lucie Matejkova, June.
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    9. Dovern, Jonas & Meier, Carsten-Patrick, 2006. "Macroeconomic aspects of structural labor market reforms in Germany," Kiel Working Papers 1295, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    10. Éric Heyer & Frédéric Reynès & Henri Sterdyniak, 2005. "Variables observables et inobservables dans la théorie du taux de chômage d'équilibre. Une comparaison France/États-Unis," Revue économique, Presses de Sciences-Po, vol. 56(3), pages 593-603.
    11. Kromphardt, Jürgen & Logeay, Camille, 2007. "Changes in the Balance of Power Between the Wage and Price Setters and the Central Bank: Consequences for the Phillips Curve and the NAIRU," Kiel Working Papers 1354, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    12. Janet L. Yellen & George A. Akerlof, 2006. "Stabilization Policy: A Reconsideration," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 44(1), pages 1-22, January.
    13. Sandra Steindl, 2006. "Potential Growth in Austria: Estimation and Discussion of Supply-Side Growth Opportunities," WIFO Monatsberichte (monthly reports), WIFO, vol. 79(12), pages 881-891, December.
    14. Bjarni G. Einarsson & Jósef Sigurdsson, 2013. "How "Natural" is the Natural Rate? Unemployment Hysteresis in Iceland," Economics wp64, Department of Economics, Central bank of Iceland.
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    Keywords

    Kalman filter; NAIRU; OECD; Phillips curve; unemployment;

    JEL classification:

    • C13 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Estimation: General
    • C22 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Time-Series Models; Dynamic Quantile Regressions; Dynamic Treatment Effect Models; Diffusion Processes
    • C32 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Time-Series Models; Dynamic Quantile Regressions; Dynamic Treatment Effect Models; Diffusion Processes; State Space Models
    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation

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