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Shocks and rigidities as determinants of CEE labor markets' performance. A panel SVECM approach

  • Bukowski, Maciej
  • Koloch, Grzegorz
  • Lewandowski, Piotr

In this paper the dynamic responses of labor markets to macroeconomic shocks in eight CEE countries are empirically analyzed in panel SVECM. Identification of shocks, interpreted as real wage, productivity, labor demand and supply shocks, is based on DSGE model with labor market explicitly modeled after Mortensen and Pissarides (1994). Fluctuations in foreign demand are controlled for and the model is estimated with panel procedure, which improves estimation's precision. We show that propagation of shocks on NMS labor markets fairly resembles that characterizing OECD countries. Productivity improving shocks temporarily increase unemployment. Positive labor demand shocks increase employment, depress unemployment, rise real average wages, and were found to be the main determinant of variability of employment and unemployment in the short-run. In the medium term, in Czech Republic, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland innovations in wages seem to be prevalent drivers of employment and unemployment. The retrospective simulations of the model show that Baltic states and Poland were significantly affected by the collapse of Russian exports in late 1990s, and in 2000 an adverse labor demand shock hit all NMS, except for Hungary and Slovenia. However, the flexibility of wages is found to be crucial factor behind the diverse labor market performance in the region. Slovenia and Estonia fared best when it comes to flexibility of wages on macro level, on the other hand in Czech Republic, Lithuania and Poland downward wage rigidities were especially binding after employment-contracting shocks.

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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 12429.

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Date of creation: 01 Dec 2008
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:12429
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  1. Andrea Bassanini & Romain Duval, 2006. "Employment Patterns in OECD Countries: Reassessing the Role of Policies and Institutions," OECD Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers 35, OECD Publishing.
  2. Joerg Breitung & M. Hashem Pesaran, 2005. "Unit Roots and Cointegration in Panels," CESifo Working Paper Series 1565, CESifo Group Munich.
  3. Olivier Blanchard, 2005. "European Unemployment: The Evolution of Facts and Ideas," NBER Working Papers 11750, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Pesaran, M.H., 2003. "A Simple Panel Unit Root Test in the Presence of Cross Section Dependence," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0346, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  5. Jacobson, Tor & Vredin, Anders & Warne, Anders, 1998. "Are Real Wages and Unemployment Related?," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 65(257), pages 69-96, February.
  6. Olivier Blanchard & Justin Wolfers, 1999. "The Role of Shocks and Institutions in the Rise of European Unemployment: The Aggregate Evidence," NBER Working Papers 7282, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Saikkonen, Pentti & Luukkonen, Ritva, 1997. "Testing cointegration in infinite order vector autoregressive processes," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 81(1), pages 93-126, November.
  8. David H. Papell & Christian J. Murray & Hala Ghiblawi, 2000. "The Structure of Unemployment," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 82(2), pages 309-315, May.
  9. Bean, Charles R, 1994. "European Unemployment: A Survey," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 32(2), pages 573-619, June.
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