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Unemployment Equilibria and Input Prices: Theory and Evidence from the United States

  • Carruth, A.A.

    (University of Kent)

  • Hooker, M.A.

    (Federal Reserve Board, USA)

  • Oswald, A.J.

    (Warwick University)

The paper develops an efficiency-wage model, where input prices affect the equilibrium rate of unemployment. We show that a simple framework based on only two prices (the real price of oil and the real rate of interest) is able to explain the main post-war movements in the rate of US joblessness. The equations do well in forecasting unemployment many years out-of-sample, and provide evidence that the oil-price spike associated with Iraq's invasion of Kuwait appears to be a component of the "mystery" recession which followed.

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File URL: http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/economics/research/workingpapers/1995-1998/twerp_496.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 496.

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Length: 20 pages
Date of creation: 1998
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wrk:warwec:496
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Web page: http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/economics/

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  1. George A. Akerlof & Janet L. Yellen, 1990. "The Fair Wage-Effort Hypothesis and Unemployment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 105(2), pages 255-283.
  2. Michael Bruno & Jeffrey Sachs, 1982. "Input Price Shocks and the Slowdown in Economic Growth: The Case of U.K. Manufacturing," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 49(5), pages 679-705.
  3. Jorgenson, Dale W, 1984. "The Role of Energy in Productivity Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(2), pages 26-30, May.
  4. Hooker, Mark A., 1996. "What happened to the oil price-macroeconomy relationship?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 195-213, October.
  5. Nickell, Stephen J, 1990. "Unemployment: A Survey," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 100(401), pages 391-439, June.
  6. Mork, Knut Anton, 1989. "Oil and Macroeconomy When Prices Go Up and Down: An Extension of Hamilton's Results," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(3), pages 740-44, June.
  7. A Carruth & M Hooker & A Oswald, 1994. "Unemployment, Oil Prices and the Real Interest Rate: Evidence from Canada and the UK," CEP Discussion Papers dp0188, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  8. Kim, In-Moo & Loungani, Prakash, 1992. "The role of energy in real business cycle models," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 173-189, April.
  9. Michael P. Keane & Eswar S Prasad, 1995. "The Employment and Wage Effects of Oil Price Changes; A Sectoral Analysis," IMF Working Papers 95/37, International Monetary Fund.
  10. Kiseok Lee & Shawn Ni & Ronald A. Ratti, 1995. "Oil Shocks and the Macroeconomy: The Role of Price Variability," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 4), pages 39-56.
  11. John Burbidge & Alan Harrison, 1982. "Testing for the Effects of Oil-Price Rises Using Vector Autoregressions," School of Economics Working Papers 1982-01, University of Adelaide, School of Economics.
  12. C Bean, 1992. "European Unemployment: A Survey," CEP Discussion Papers dp0071, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  13. Rasche, Robert H. & Tatom, John A., 1981. "Energy price shocks, aggregate supply and monetary policy: The theory and the international evidence," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 9-93, January.
  14. Oswald Andrew J., 1996. "A Conjecture on the Explanation for High Unemployment in the Industrialized Nations : Part I," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 475, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  15. Dale W. Jorgenson, 1984. "The Role of Energy in Productivity Growth," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 3), pages 11-26.
  16. Peter Ferderer, J., 1996. "Oil price volatility and the macroeconomy," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 1-26.
  17. Hamilton, James D, 1988. "A Neoclassical Model of Unemployment and the Business Cycle," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(3), pages 593-617, June.
  18. Hamilton, James D., 1996. "This is what happened to the oil price-macroeconomy relationship," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 215-220, October.
  19. 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.
  20. Hamilton, James D, 1983. "Oil and the Macroeconomy since World War II," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(2), pages 228-48, April.
  21. Edmund S. Phelps, 1992. "Consumer Demand and Equilibrium Unemployment in a Working Model of the Customer-Market Incentive-Wage Economy," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(3), pages 1003-1032.
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