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

Andrew J. Oswald

The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) from University of Warwick, Department of Economics

Abstract: 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.

Date: 1996
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