OECD Jobs Study Working Papers

  • Discontinued
This series is designed to make available to a wider readership selected papers prepared for use in the context of the OECD Jobs Study. The principal results of this study have been published in the form of a concise synthesis report entitled: The OECD Jobs Study: Facts, Analyses, Strategies, followed by a detailed background report (in two volumes) entitled: The OECD Jobs Study: Evidence and Explanations. The working papers are generally available only in their original language - English or French - with a summary in the other.


Real Wage Resistance and Unemployment

Multivariate Analysis of Cointegrating Relations in 10 OECD Countries

Over the past twenty years or so, unemployment has been increasing in most OECD economies. In the same period, there has been a considerable increase in the wedge between the real cost to the employer of hiring a worker and the net real wage received by the worker. The present study examines whether changes in the wedge (including various tax rates) may have generated long-lasting effects on real labour costs. Behaviour which generates this kind of outcome is called "real wage resistance". If there is real wage resistance, a rise in the wedge leads to higher unemployment. If this outcome persists in the long run, the primary problem related to the functioning of the wage setting mechanism is not necessarily the speed of adjustment but rather the equilibrium in which adjustment terminates.

The countries examined are the United States, Japan, Germany, France, the United Kingdom, Italy, Canada, Australia, Sweden and Finland. The study covers the private business sector and the ...


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