Working Paper No. 481

The European Unemployment Dilemma

Published: April 21, 1997Pages: 39Keywords: Unemployment; Economic turbulence; Welfare state; EuropeJEL-codes: E24; J64

The European Unemployment Dilemma Lars Ljungqvist and Thomas J. Sargent


Post World War II European welfare states experienced several decades of relatively low unemployment, followed by a plague of persistently high unemployment since the 1980's. We impute the higher unemployment to welfare states' diminished ability to cope with more turbulent economic times, such as the ongoing restructuring from manufacturing to the service industry, adoption of new information technologies and a rapidly changing international economy. We use a general equilibrium search model where workers accumulate skills on the job and lose skills during unemployment.

Interdisciplinary European Studies

The European Union and the Return of the Nation State

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This book explores the complex and ever-changing relationship between the European Union and its member states. The recent surge in tension in this relationship has been prompted by the actions of some member state governments as they question fundamental EU values and principles and refuse to implement common decisions seemingly on the basis of narrowly defined national interests.

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