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Unemployment Hysteresis and Structural Change in Europe

Kurmaş Akdoğan
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Kurmaş Akdoğan: Central Bank of Turkey

No 266, EY International Congress on Economics II (EYC2015), November 5-6, 2015, Ankara, Turkey from Ekonomik Yaklasim Association

Abstract: We examine the unemployment hysteresis hypothesis for 31 European countries, US and Japan, using linear and nonlinear unit root tests. Two types of smooth transition models - Exponential Smooth Transition Autoregressive (ESTAR) and Asymmetric Exponential Smooth Transition Autoregressive (AESTAR) - are employed to account for the mean-reverting behaviour in unemployment due to heterogeneity in hiring and firing costs across firms. Four main results emerge: First, the hysteresis hypothesis is rejected for 60 percent of the countries in our sample. Second, nonlinear models capture the asymmetries in unemployment dynamics over the business cycle for some countries. Third, many of the series display multiple structural breaks which might point out shifts in mean level of unemployment. Fourth, forecasting powers of our nonlinear models are moderately better than the random walk model in the longer term. The results have policy implications for the debate on the benefits of demand or supply side policies for tackling the current unemployment problem in Europe.

Keywords: Unemployment; Hysteresis; Nonlinear Adjustment; Structural Breaks; Forecasting (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C22 E24 E27 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 25 pages
Date: 2015
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-eec, nep-for and nep-mac
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