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Capital Accumulation and Unemployment: New Insights on the Nordic Experience

  • 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 Pompeu Fabra)

This paper takes a fresh look at the analysis of labour market dynamics and argues that capital accumulation plays a fundamental role in shaping unemployment movements. This role has generally been examined by considering indirect transmission channels of the capital stock effects, i.e. using variables like interest rates or investment ratios in the estimation of single-equation unemployment rate models. Here we advocate a different approach. We directly estimate the effects of capital stock in the labour market by applying the chain reaction theory of unemployment, and we find that capital stock is a major determinant of unemployment in the Nordic countries. In particular, the different unemployment experiences of these economies derive from the temporary (albeit prolonged) negative shocks to capital stock growth in Denmark and Sweden, and the permanent downturn of capital stock growth in Finland. We are thus able to explain why the crisis of the early 1990s had a more accute impact in Finland than in its twin economy, Sweden.

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Paper provided by Queen Mary University of London, School of Economics and Finance in its series Working Papers with number 611.

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Date of creation: Oct 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:qmw:qmwecw:wp611
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  1. Jim Malley & Thomas Moutos, 2000. "Capital Accumulation and Unemployment: A Tale of Two "Continents"," CESifo Working Paper Series 236, CESifo Group Munich.
  2. Marika Karanassou & Hector Sala & Dennis J. Snower, 2003. "Unemployment in the European Union: Institutions, Prices, and Growth," Working Papers 493, Queen Mary University of London, School of Economics and Finance.
  3. Xavier Raurich & Hector Sala Lorda & Valeri Sorolla, 2004. "Unemployment, growth and fiscal policy: new insights on the hysteresis hypothesis," Working Papers wpdea0404, Department of Applied Economics at Universitat Autonoma of Barcelona.
  4. Roberto Bande & Marika Karanassou, 2006. "Labour Market Flexibility and Regional Unemployment Rate Dynamics: Spain (1980-1995)," ERSA conference papers ersa06p53, European Regional Science Association.
  5. Marika Karanassou & Hector Sala & Dennis Snower, 2008. "Phillips Curves and Unemployment Dynamics: A Critique and a Holistic Perspective," Kiel Working Papers 1441, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
  6. Jaakko Pehkonen, 1999. "Wage formation in Finland, 1960-1994," Finnish Economic Papers, Finnish Economic Association, vol. 12(2), pages 82-91, Autumn.
  7. Layard, Richard & Nickell, Stephen & Jackman, Richard, 2005. "Unemployment: Macroeconomic Performance and the Labour Market," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199279173, July.
  8. M. Hashem Pesaran & Yongcheol Shin & Richard J. Smith, 2001. "Bounds testing approaches to the analysis of level relationships," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 16(3), pages 289-326.
  9. Marika Karanassou & Dennis J. Snower, 2004. "Unemployment Invariance," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 5(3), pages 297-317, 08.
  10. Koskela , Erkki & Uusitalo , Roope, 2004. "Unintended convergence – how Finnish unemployment reached the European level," Research Discussion Papers 6/2004, Bank of Finland.
  11. Marika Karanassou & Hector Sala & Dennis J. Snower, 2002. "Unemployment in the European Union: A Dynamic Reappraisal," Working Papers 480, Queen Mary University of London, School of Economics and Finance.
  12. Philip Arestis & Michelle Baddeley & Malcolm Sawyer, 2007. "The Relationship Between Capital Stock, Unemployment And Wages In Nine Emu Countries," Bulletin of Economic Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 59(2), pages 125-148, 04.
  13. Arestis, Philip & Mariscal, Iris Biefang-Frisancho, 2000. "Capital Stock, Unemployment and Wages in the UK and Germany," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 47(5), pages 487-503, November.
  14. Jaakko Kiander & Jaakko Pehkonen, 1999. "Finnish unemployment: observations and conjectures," Finnish Economic Papers, Finnish Economic Association, vol. 12(2), pages 94-108, Autumn.
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