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The Brazilian Crisis: From Inertial Inflation to Fiscal Fragility


  • Jan Kregel

    (UNCTAD & Jerome Levy Econ Inst)


This paper documents the employment disadvantage faced by the less qualified part of the labor force and examines the factors that influence the differing extent of this disadvantage across OECD countries. We argue that employment rates for quartiles of the population ranked by educational qualification provide the best measure of employment disadvantage. We show that differences in these employment rates for the most- and least-educated quartiles vary substantially within Europe, but are not on average higher than those in the USA. The least qualified suffer the greatest employment disadvantage in countries in which the overall employment rates are low and, for men, the literacy test scores for the least qualified are relatively low. A high level of imports from the South appears to be associated with greater employment disadvantage, but there is no discernible tendency for a high level of wage dispersion, low benefits, or weak employment protection legislation to be associated with greater employment disadvantage. Labor market flexibility has not been the route by which some OECD countries have managed to minimize the employment disadvantage of the least qualified.

Suggested Citation

  • Jan Kregel, 2000. "The Brazilian Crisis: From Inertial Inflation to Fiscal Fragility," Macroeconomics 0004040, EconWPA.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpma:0004040 Note: Type of Document - Adobe Acrobat PDF; prepared on IBM PC; to print on PostScript; pages: 20; figures: included

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Nickell, Stephen & Layard, Richard, 1999. "Labor market institutions and economic performance," Handbook of Labor Economics,in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 46, pages 3029-3084 Elsevier.
    2. Alan B. Krueger & Jorn-Steffen Pischke, 1997. "Observations and Conjectures on the U.S. Employment Miracle," NBER Working Papers 6146, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Pryor,Frederic L. & Schaffer,David L., 1999. "Who's Not Working and Why," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521651523, March.
    4. Stephen Nickell, 1997. "Unemployment and Labor Market Rigidities: Europe versus North America," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(3), pages 55-74, Summer.
    5. David Card & Francis Kramarz & Thomas Lemieux, 1999. "Changes in the Relative Structure of Wages and Employment: A Comparison of the United States, Canada, and France," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 32(4), pages 843-877, August.
    6. Blondal, Sveinbjorn & Pearson, Mark, 1995. "Unemployment and Other Non-employment Benefits," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 11(1), pages 136-169, Spring.
    7. Blau, Francine D & Kahn, Lawrence M, 1996. "International Differences in Male Wage Inequality: Institutions versus Market Forces," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(4), pages 791-836, August.
    8. Nickell, Stephen & Bell, Brian, 1995. "The Collapse in Demand for the Unskilled and Unemployment across the OECD," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 11(1), pages 40-62, Spring.
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    JEL classification:

    • E - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics

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