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The Macroeconomics of the Labor Market: Three Fundamental Views

  • Marika Karanassou


    (Queen Mary, University of London and IZA)

  • Hector Sala


    (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona and IZA)

  • Dennis J. Snower


    (Institute for World Economics, University of Kiel, CEPR and IZA)

We distinguish and assess three fundamental views of the labor market regarding the movements in unempoyment: (i) the frictionless equilibrium view; (ii) the chain reaction theory, or prolonged adjustment view; and (iii) the hysteresis view. While the frictionless view implies a clear compartmentalization between the short- and long-run, the hysteresis view implies that all the shortrun fluctuations automatically turn into long-run changes in the unemployment rate. We assert the problems faced by these conceptions in explaining the diversity of labor market experiences across the OECD labor markets. We argue that the prolonged adjustment view can overcome these problems since it implies that the short, medium, and long runs are interrelated, merging with one another along an intertemporal continuum.

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Paper provided by Queen Mary University of London, School of Economics and Finance in its series Working Papers with number 585.

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Date of creation: Feb 2007
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Handle: RePEc:qmw:qmwecw:wp585
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  1. Olivier J. Blanchard & Lawrence H. Summers, 1986. "Hysteresis and the European Unemployment Problem," Working papers 427, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  2. Snower, Dennis J. & Karanassou, Marika & Henry, Brian, 1999. "Adjustment Dynamics and the Natural Rate: An Account of UK Unemployment," IZA Discussion Papers 75, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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  4. Marika Karanassou & Hector Sala & Dennis J. Snower, 2008. "Phillips Curves and Unemployment Dynamics: A Critique and a Holistic Perspective," Discussion Papers 2008-08, School of Economics, The University of New South Wales.
  5. Roberto Bande & Marika Karanassou, 2006. "Labour Market Flexibility and Regional Unemployment Rate Dynamics: Spain 1980-1995," Working Papers 574, Queen Mary University of London, School of Economics and Finance.
  6. Lindbeck, A., 1993. "The Welfare State and the Employment Problem," Papers 561, Stockholm - International Economic Studies.
  7. Sujit Kapadia, 2004. "The Capital Stock and Equilibrium Unemployment: A New Theoretical Perspective," Money Macro and Finance (MMF) Research Group Conference 2004 88, Money Macro and Finance Research Group.
  8. Karanassou, Marika & Sala, Hector & Snower, Dennis J., 2002. "Unemployment in the European Union: A Dynamic Reappraisal," IZA Discussion Papers 531, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  9. Floden, Martin, 2005. "Labor Supply and Saving under Uncertainty," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 597, Stockholm School of Economics.
  10. Lindbeck, Assar & Snower, Dennis J, 1988. "Cooperation, Harassment, and Involuntary Unemployment: An Insider-Outsider Approach," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(1), pages 167-88, March.
  11. Karanassou, Marika & Snower, Dennis J., 2002. "Unemployment Invariance," IZA Discussion Papers 530, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  12. Lindbeck, Assar & Snower, Dennis J, 1987. "Strike and Lock-Out Threats and Fiscal Policy," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 39(4), pages 760-84, December.
  13. Olivier Jean Blanchard & Stanley Fischer, 1989. "Lectures on Macroeconomics," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262022834, December.
  14. Eric French, 2004. "The Effects of Health, Wealth and Wages on Labor Supply and Retirement Behavior," 2004 Meeting Papers 96, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  15. Karanassou, Marika & Snower, Dennis J., 1997. "Is the natural rate a reference point?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 41(3-5), pages 559-569, April.
  16. Marika Karanassou & Hector Sala & Dennis Snower, 2004. "Unemployment in the European Union: Institutions, Prices, and Growth," CESifo Working Paper Series 1247, CESifo Group Munich.
  17. Olivier Blanchard, 2006. "European unemployment: the evolution of facts and ideas," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 21(45), pages 5-59, 01.
  18. Raurich, Xavier & Sala, Hector & Sorolla, Valeri, 2004. "Unemployment, Growth and Fiscal Policy: New Insights on the Hysteresis Hypothesis," IZA Discussion Papers 1127, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  19. Karanassou, Marika & Snower, Dennis J., 1993. "Explaining Disparities in Unemployment Dynamics," CEPR Discussion Papers 858, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  20. Taylor, John B, 1979. "Staggered Wage Setting in a Macro Model," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 69(2), pages 108-13, May.
  21. Berndt, Ernst R. & Fuss, Melvyn A., 1986. "Productivity measurement with adjustments for variations in capacity utilization and other forms of temporary equilibrium," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 33(1-2), pages 7-29.
  22. Rowthorn, Robert, 1999. "Unemployment, Wage Bargaining and Capital-Labour Substitution," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 23(4), pages 413-25, July.
  23. Layard, Richard & Bean, Charles, 1989. " Why Does Unemployment Persist?," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 91(2), pages 371-96.
  24. Karanassou, Marika & Snower, Dennis J., 1998. "How Labour Market Flexibility Affects Unemployment: Long-Term Implications of the Chain Reaction Theory," CEPR Discussion Papers 1826, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  25. L. Wade, 1988. "Review," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 58(1), pages 99-100, July.
  26. 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.
  27. Heikki Kauppi & Erkki Koskela & Rune Stenbacka, 2004. "Equilibrium Unemployment and Capital Intensity Under Product and Labor Market Imperfections," CESifo Working Paper Series 1343, CESifo Group Munich.
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