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A Conjecture on the Explanation for High Unemployment in the Industrialized Nations : Part I

  • Oswald Andrew J.

The paper conjectures that the high unemployment of the Western economies has been produced by the decline of the private house-rental market and the rise of home-ownership. Evidence is provided for the developed nations, the states of the USA, and the regions of the UK, Italy, France and Sweden. Although its calculations should be viewed as tentative, the paper's results imply that a 10 percentage point rise in the owner-occupation rate is associated with an increase of approximately 2 percentage points in the unemployment rate. This would be sufficient to explain a significant part of the rise in joblessness in the industrialized countries.

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File URL: http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/economics/research/workingpapers/1995-1998/twerp_475.pdf
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Paper provided by University of Warwick, Department of Economics in its series The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) with number 475.

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Length: 42 pages
Date of creation: 1996
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wrk:warwec:475
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Web page: http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/economics/

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  1. Calmfors, L., 1992. "Lessons from the Macroeconomic Experience of Sweden," Papers 522, Stockholm - International Economic Studies.
  2. Junankar, P.N. & Madsen, J.B., 1994. "Unemployment in the OECD: Models, Myths and Mysteries," Papers 278, Australian National University - Department of Economics.
  3. Anders Björklund, 1985. "Unemployment and Mental Health: Some Evidence from Panel Data," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 20(4), pages 469-483.
  4. Carruth, A.A. & Hooker, M.A. & Oswald, A.J., 1998. "Unemployment Equilibria and Input Prices: Theory and Evidence from the United States," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 496, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  5. Rowthorn, R E, 1977. "Conflict, Inflation and Money," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 1(3), pages 215-39, September.
  6. McCallum, John, 1983. "Inflation and Social Consensus in the Seventies," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 93(372), pages 784-805, December.
  7. David G. Blanchflower & Andrew J. Oswald, 2000. "Well-Being Over Time in Britain and the USA," NBER Working Papers 7487, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Louis N. Christofides & Andrew J. Oswald, 1992. "Real Wage Determination and Rent-Sharing in Collective Bargaining Agreements," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(3), pages 985-1002.
  9. Henley, A, . "Residential Mobility, Housing Wealth and the Labour Market," Discussion Papers 9615, Department of Economics, University of Wales, Aberystwyth.
  10. Rafael Di Tella & Robert J. MacCulloch, 2002. "The Determination of Unemployment Benefits," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 20(2), pages 404-434, Part.
  11. Hughes, G A & McCormick, B, 1985. "Migration Intentions in the U.K.: Which Households Want to Migrate and Which Succeed?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 95(380a), pages 113-23, Supplemen.
  12. Bover, Olympia & Muellbauer, John & Murphy, Anthony, 1989. "Housing, Wages and UK Labour Markets," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 51(2), pages 97-136, March.
  13. McCormick, Barry, 1983. "Housing and Unemployment in Great Britain," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 35(0), pages 283-305, Supplemen.
  14. Layard, Richard & Nickell, Stephen & Jackman, Richard, 1991. "Unemployment: Macroeconomic Performance and the Labour Market," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198284345, July.
  15. Oswald, Andrew J, 1986. "Unemployment Insurance and Labor Contracts under Asymmetric Information: Theory and Facts," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(3), pages 365-77, June.
  16. repec:oup:restud:v:57:y:1990:i:3:p:381-402 is not listed on IDEAS
  17. Wadsworth, Jonathan, 1998. "Eyes Down for a Full House: Labour Market Polarisation and the Housing Market in Britain," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 45(4), pages 376-92, September.
  18. Hughes, Gordon & McCormick, Barry & McCormick, Barry, 1987. "Housing markets, unemployment and labour market flexibility in the UK," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 615-641, April.
  19. Olivier J. Blanchard & Lawrence H. Summers, 1986. "Hysteresis and the European Unemployment Problem," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1986, Volume 1, pages 15-90 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. Grossman, Sanford J & Hart, Oliver D, 1981. "Implicit Contracts, Moral Hazard, and Unemployment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(2), pages 301-07, May.
  21. Clark, Andrew E & Oswald, Andrew J, 1994. "Unhappiness and Unemployment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 104(424), pages 648-59, May.
  22. Shapiro, Carl & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1984. "Equilibrium Unemployment as a Worker Discipline Device," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(3), pages 433-44, June.
  23. Robert E. Hall, 1970. "Why Is the Unemployment Rate So High at Full Employment?," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 1(3), pages 369-410.
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