The Natural Rate of Unemployment: Reflections on 25 Years of the Hypothesis
For 25 years, theory about the causes of, and possible solutions to, the problem of unemployment has been dominated by Phelps' and Friedman's natural rate of unemployment hypothesis. This postulates that the equilibrium rate of unemployment consistent with steady inflation is determined by structural variables: sustainable reductions in unemployment can be achieved only by measures to change underlying microeconomic structures, such as benefit and pay bargaining systems. Belief in the hypothesis has faltered since the 1980s, the hypothesis being unable to explain the dramatic upward shifts in European unemployment rates. These essays reflect upon the fundamental structures underlying the hypothesis, assess the related evidence, and look forwards, suggesting possible modifications. In contrast to the single rate postulated by the natural rate hypothesis, several of the contributors propose that there are ranges of unemployment rates consistent with steady inflation.
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List of contributors
The origins and further development of the natural rate of unemployment
The natural rate as new classical macroeconomics
Theoretical reflections on the natural rate of unemployment
Of coconuts decomposition and a jackass the genealogy of the natural rate
The economics of adjustment
Is the natural rate hypothesis consistent with hysteresis?
The natural rate hypothesis and its testable implications
Nonlinear dependence in unemployment output and inflation empirical evidence for the UK
Prices wages and employment in the US economy a traditional model and tests of some alternatives
The natural rate in empirical macroeconomic models
Is the natural rate of unemployment a useful concept for Europe?
The natural rate of unemployment a fundamentalist Keynesian view
Politics and the natural rate hypothesis a historical perspective
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adjustment aggregate demand analysis autoregressive bargaining behaviour capital classical classical dichotomy coefficient cointegration customer market depends determined dynamics econometric effect empirical equilibrium rate equilibrium unemployment estimated excess demand figure firm Friedman full employment hysteresis implies increase inflation inflation and unemployment inflation rate input Keynes Keynesian labour market labour supply Layard level of unemployment long-run Lucas macro macroeconomic marginal revenue marginal revenue curve mark-up maximising ment money supply money wages NAIRU natural rate hypothesis Nickell non-linear output parameter path Patinkin Phelps Phillips curve price equations price level range of equilibrium rate of inflation rate of unemployment rational expectations real business cycle real wage real wage rate relative result retail sector serial correlation SETAR models shocks short-run statistics steady stochastic structural tests theoretical theory trade union unemployed unemployment rate unit root variables wage and price wage equation wage inflation workers zero
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