A penny spent is a penny earned (by someone else): Measuring GDP

S Borağan Aruoba, Francis X. Diebold, Jeremy J Nalewaik, Frank Schorfheide, Dongho Song 03 December 2013

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“A growing number of economists say that the government should shift its approach to measuring growth. The current system emphasises data on spending, but the bureau also collects data on income. In theory the two should match perfectly – a penny spent is a penny earned by someone else. But estimates of the two measures can diverge widely, particularly in the short term...”
[Binyamin Appelbaum, The New York Times, 16 August 2011]

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Topics:  Frontiers of economic research

Tags:  US, GDP, unemployment, data, measurement, national income accounting

Currency wars and the euro

Jens Nordvig 25 November 2013

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A new battle for the ECB to fight

Last year, the ECB entered an existential battle for the euro. By promising to do ‘whatever it takes’ to safeguard the euro, the ECB managed to calm sovereign debt markets and engineer a much-needed easing of overall credit conditions in the Eurozone.

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Topics:  EU institutions Exchange rates Monetary policy

Tags:  ECB, eurozone, euro, unemployment, Bundesbank, Currency wars

Can temporary in-work support help the long-term unemployed enter sustained work?

Richard Dorsett 21 November 2013

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There is growing awareness among policymakers that, in order to break the so-called ‘low pay, no pay’ cycle, labour market programmes must do more than just encourage job entry. To help the unemployed achieve long-term self-sufficiency, they must also support them in work. For a long-time, the UK and the US have provided in-work payments to low-paid workers via Working Tax Credit and Earned Income Tax Credit, respectively. These are available on an ongoing basis, and are intended to sharpen work incentives by increasing the rewards to employment.

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Topics:  Labour markets

Tags:  unemployment, incentives, low pay, tax credits, hysteresis

How much unemployment insurance do we need?

Rafael Lalive, Camille Landais, Josef Zweimüller 09 November 2013

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The global crisis that erupted in 2008 has put millions of workers out of a job. The US, for instance, experienced a dramatic increase in unemployment from around 4% to more than 10% during the Great Recession. Unemployment remained stubbornly high even when the economy began to recover.

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Topics:  Global crisis Labour markets

Tags:  unemployment, Unemployment insurance, search externalities

Unemployment, labour-market flexibility and IMF advice: Moving beyond mantras

Olivier Blanchard, Florence Jaumotte, Prakash Loungani 18 October 2013

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Growth in advanced economies is gaining some speed. The IMF projects these economies will grow 2% next year, up from an expected 1.2% this year. The average unemployment rate in advanced economies is expected to inch down from its peak of 8.3% in 2010 to 8% next year. This is progress, but it is clearly not enough. The state of labour markets remains dismal for a number of reasons.

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Topics:  Labour markets Welfare state and social Europe

Tags:  unemployment, institutions, IMF, trust, Unemployment insurance, labour-market flexibility, EZ crisis, collective bargaining

Social job-search networks and the transition from school to stable employment

Francis Kramarz, Oskar Nordström Skans 17 October 2013

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The challenges faced by young workers transitioning from school into stable employment are a major concern throughout the OECD. The search for stable employment is a time-consuming process, particularly in countries without highly developed apprenticeship systems. Many young workers – especially the least educated – are caught struggling for years.

Considering the importance of this process we know surprisingly little about the strategies used by young job searchers looking for entry jobs. Two key insights arise from the large body of research on job-finding networks:

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Topics:  Labour markets

Tags:  unemployment, jobs, youth unemployment, graduates

How the great recession affected unemployment of non-Western Immigrants in the Netherlands

Jan van Ours 06 October 2013

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The labour-market position of immigrants in many European countries is weak – unemployment rates among immigrants are high, and employment rates are low (OECD 2011). There are various explanations for this. Immigrants often have lower educational attainment than natives, and fewer language skills. Furthermore, ethnic identity may be important.

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Topics:  Labour markets Migration

Tags:  unemployment, migration, Netherlands, Great Recession

German labour reforms: Unpopular success

Tom Krebs, Martin Scheffel 20 September 2013

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Just a few years ago, Germany was known as the sick man of Europe (Burda 2007). Starting from an average unemployment rate below 4% in the 1970s, Germany saw its rate increase to almost 9% in the period 1995-2005. As seen in Figure 1 the unemployment rate has a strong cyclical component but also a trend component that has been rising since the 1970s until the mid-2000s.

Figure 1. Quarterly unemployment rate, Germany 1970Q1-2012Q4

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Topics:  Labour markets Macroeconomic policy

Tags:  Germany, unemployment, reforms

The downsizing dilemmas of European employers

Hendrik P van Dalen, Kène Henkens 28 August 2013

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Drastic measures are taken when managers formulate strategies to survive economic crises. Among these are downsizing, outsourcing, firing workers and cutting back on wages. But how do firms balance their interests against those of their workers?

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Topics:  Labour markets

Tags:  unemployment, Eurozone crisis, downsizing, hiring, firing

Accounting for the ethnic unemployment gap in France and the US

Laurent Gobillon, Peter Rupert, Étienne Wasmer 23 July 2013

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The unemployment rate in France is roughly six percentage points higher for African immigrants than for natives. In the US, the unemployment rate is approximately nine percentage points higher for black people than for white people. The gap between the minority (African immigrants or black people) and the majority (natives or white people) remains important even after controlling for individual attributes such as education, age or other demographic characteristics.

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Topics:  Europe's nations and regions Labour markets

Tags:  France, unemployment, race, ethnicity, commuting

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