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Public Policy and Unemployment in Interwar France: An Empirical Approach

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  • Tony Syme

Abstract

This paper introduces an empirical model of the French interwar labour market that is comparable to models developed for the British labour market for this period, yet incorporates specific extensions in order to capture the peculiarities of the French case. The result is a model that can very accurately stimulate the movement of unemployment in the 1920s and 1930s and this is used to run a series of counterfactual simulations to estimate the labour market effects of various public policies adopted at the time. Of particular note is the result that the repatriation drive of the early 1930s had no significant effect on the size of foreign labour force by 1936 and that the decision to remain on the Gold Standard until 1936 raised unemployment each year by more than primary policies introduced to combat unemployment - public works and repatriation of foreign workers - reduced it.

Suggested Citation

  • Tony Syme, 2000. "Public Policy and Unemployment in Interwar France: An Empirical Approach," Economics Series Working Papers 55, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:oxf:wpaper:55
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    File URL: http://www.economics.ox.ac.uk/materials/working_papers/paper055.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Rosen, Sherwin & Nadiri, M Ishaq, 1974. "A Disequilibrium Model of Demand for Factors of Production," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 64(2), pages 264-270, May.
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    3. Nadiri, M Ishaq & Rosen, Sherwin, 1969. "Interrelated Factor Demand Functions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 59(4), pages 457-471, Part I Se.
    4. Lindbeck, Assar & Snower, Dennis J, 1990. " Demand- and Supply-Side Policies and Unemployment: Policy Implications of the Insider-Outsider Approach," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 92(2), pages 279-305.
    5. Eichengreen, Barry & Sachs, Jeffrey, 1985. "Exchange Rates and Economic Recovery in the 1930s," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 45(04), pages 925-946, December.
    6. Dimsdale, Nicholas H & Horsewood, Nicholas, 1995. "Fiscal Policy and Employment in Interwar Britain: Some Evidence from a New Model," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 47(3), pages 369-396, July.
    7. Broadberry, S N, 1986. "Aggregate Supply in Interwar Britain," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 96(382), pages 467-481, June.
    8. Eichengreen, Barry & Hatton, Tim, 1988. "Interwar Unemployment in International Perspective," Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, Working Paper Series qt7bw188gk, Institute of Industrial Relations, UC Berkeley.
    9. Hatton, T J, 1988. "A Quarterly Model of the Labour Market in Interwar Britain," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 50(1), pages 1-25, February.
    10. Jacques Marseille, 1980. "Les origines « inopportunes » de la crise de 1929 en France," Revue Économique, Programme National Persée, vol. 31(4), pages 648-684.
    11. Bernanke, Ben S, 1986. "Employment, Hours, and Earnings in the Depression: An Analysis of EightManufacturing Industries," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(1), pages 82-109, March.
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    13. Benjamin, Daniel K & Kochin, Levis A, 1979. "Searching for an Explanation of Unemployment in Interwar Britain," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(3), pages 441-478, June.
    14. Kokkelenberg, Edward C, 1983. "Interrelated Factor Demands Revisited," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 65(2), pages 342-347, May.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    France; unemployment; gold standard; repatriation; public works; 1930s; Popular Front;

    JEL classification:

    • J2 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor
    • J6 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers
    • N34 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - Europe: 1913-

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