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The (Ir)relevance of the NRU for Policy Making: The Case of Denmark

  • Marika Karanassou


    (Queen Mary, University of London, and IZA)

  • Hector Sala


    (Universitat Aut�noma de Barcelona, and IZA)

  • Pablo F. Salvador


    (Universitat Aut�noma de Barcelona, and Universitat de Girona)

We reconsider the central role of the natural rate of unemployment (NRU) in forming policy decisions. We show that the unemployment rate does not gravitate towards the NRU due to frictional growth, a phenomenon that encapsulates the interplay between lagged adjustment processes and growth in dynamic labour market systems. We choose Denmark as the focal point of our empirical analysis and find that the NRU explains only 33% of the unemployment variation, while frictional growth accounts for the remaining 67%. Therefore, our theoretical and empirical findings raise serious doubts as to whether the NRU should play a key instrumental role in policy making.

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Paper provided by Queen Mary University of London, School of Economics and Finance in its series Working Papers with number 580.

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Date of creation: Nov 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:qmw:qmwecw:wp580
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  16. James Tobin, 1997. "Supply Constraints on Employment and Output: NAIRU Versus Natural Rate," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1150, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
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