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Unemployment, Labour Market Institutions and Shocks

  • Luca Nunziata

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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Paper provided by University of Oxford, Department of Economics in its series Economics Series Working Papers with number 2002-W16.

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Date of creation: 01 Jun 2002
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:oxf:wpaper:2002-w16
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  1. Giuseppe Bertola & Francine D. Blau & Lawrence M. Kahn, 2001. "Comparative Analysis of Labor Market Outcomes: Lessons for the US from International Long-Run Evidence," NBER Working Papers 8526, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  11. 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.
  12. L. Nunziata, 2002. "Institutions and Wage Determination: A Multi-Country Approach," Working Papers 433, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
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  15. 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 C1-33, March.
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  17. Belot, M.V.K. & van Ours, J.C., 2001. "Unemployment and Labor Market Institutions : An Empirical Analysis," Discussion Paper 2001-50, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  18. Peter C.B. Phillips & Pierre Perron, 1986. "Testing for a Unit Root in Time Series Regression," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 795R, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University, revised Sep 1987.
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