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Is There an Equilibrium Rate of Unemployment in the Long Run?

  • Engelbert Stockhammer

    ()

    (Department of Economics, Vienna University of Economics & B.A.)

Distinguishing between profit led and growth led demand regimes, we analyze the conditions of existence and stability of long run equilibrium of unemployment. The model we employ has at its center the relation between growth and distribution. Growth can be either wage led or profit led. Distribution itself is a function of the unemployment rate, with higher unemployment leading to a higher profit share. We use Okun's Law to close the model, making the change of the rate of unemployment a function of growth. The interesting result of our analysis is that in profit led demand regime the short run and long run equilibrium are stable. However, if the demand regime is wage led, the same conditions that guarantee stability of the goods market equilibrium in the short run render impossible the existence of a long run equilibrium rate of unemployment, and vice versa. Thus, if Kalecki's proposition that higher wages lead to higher growth is true, there will be no equilibrium rate of unemployment in the long run that serves as an anchor for the economic system. A revised version of the paper is forthcoming in the Review of Political Economy. Please contact the author for the revised version.

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Paper provided by Vienna University of Economics and Business Research Group: Growth and Employment in Europe: Sustainability and Competitiveness in its series Working Papers with number geewp10.

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Date of creation: Feb 2000
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Handle: RePEc:wiw:wiwgee:geewp10
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  1. Blanchflower, David G & Oswald, Andrew J, 1990. " The Wage Curve," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 92(2), pages 215-35.
    • David G. Blanchflower & Andrew J. Oswald, 1995. "The Wage Curve," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 026202375x, June.
  2. Dutt, Amitava Krishna, 1984. "Stagnation, Income Distribution and Monopoly Power," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 8(1), pages 25-40, March.
  3. Nickell, Stephen, 1998. "Unemployment: Questions and Some Answers," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 108(448), pages 802-16, May.
  4. Rodrik, Dani, 1998. "Where Did all the Growth Go? External Shocks, Social Conflict and Growth Collapses," CEPR Discussion Papers 1789, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Jonathan Temple, 1999. "The New Growth Evidence," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(1), pages 112-156, March.
  6. Dutt, Amitava Krishna, 1992. "Conflict inflation, distribution, cyclical accumulation and crises," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 8(4), pages 579-597, December.
  7. Engelbert Stockhammer, 1999. "Robinsonian and Kaleckian Growth. An Update on Post-Keynesian Growth Theories," Department of Economics Working Papers wuwp067, Vienna University of Economics and Business, Department of Economics.
  8. Bean, Charles R, 1994. "European Unemployment: A Survey," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 32(2), pages 573-619, June.
  9. E. Yndgaard & Palle S. Andersen & Marc Klau, 1999. "Higher profits and lower capital prices: is factor allocation optimal?," BIS Working Papers 65, Bank for International Settlements.
  10. Sen, Anindya & Dutt, Amitava Krishna, 1995. "Wage bargaining, imperfect competition and the markup: Optimizing microfoundations," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 15-20, April.
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