Hans Genberg, Wenlang Zhang, 25 April 2010

Would an increase in Chinese domestic demand meaningfully reduce global imbalances and improve US and European employment prospects? This column says that Chinese policy has a relatively small impact on developed economies' macroeconomic circumstances. It estimates that major reduction in Chinese saving would improve US employment by less than one quarter of a percentage point.

Roger Farmer, 06 January 2010

Most policymakers subscribe to the existence of a natural rate of unemployment. This column provides a visual history of unemployment, vacancies, and inflation in the US and says there is no natural rate. It suggests the economy can rest in any equilibrium on the Beveridge curve, as decided by the confidence of households and firms that pins down asset values.

Francesco D'Amuri, Juri Marcucci, 16 December 2009

The demand for up-to-date economic indicators has led researchers to use Google to improve the predictive power of their models. This column presents evidence from the US and Italy that using search trends on Google significantly increases the accuracy of forecasting unemployment.

Sascha O. Becker, Karolina Ekholm, Marc Muendler, 09 November 2009

How do offshoring firms reshape their domestic workforce? This column, using evidence from German multinationals, shows a positive correlation between offshoring and the firm’s proportion of highly educated workers. Offshoring firms have relatively more domestic jobs involving non-routine and interactive tasks. But offshoring is far from the only explanation for the shift towards more educated employees carrying out more advanced tasks.

Christoph Moser, Dieter Urban, Beatrice Weder di Mauro, 31 October 2009

Do offshoring firms reduce their domestic employment? This column examines plant-level evidence from Germany, using difference-in-differences matching techniques. It says that the positive productivity effect of offshoring dominates possible downsizing effects, raising domestic employment at the establishment.

Phillip Levine, Courtney Coile, 31 October 2009

Since the crisis began, the economy has shed millions of jobs. This column explains how stock, housing, and labour market fluctuations affect retirement decisions. While wealthier workers will delay retirement, a larger number of workers will be forced into retirement because of their inability to find new jobs. This increased involuntary retirement will likely exceed any work-seeking effect of diminished stock market wealth by 50%.

Tito Boeri, 23 June 2009

Public opinion is turning against migration during the recession, as generous European welfare states make migrants a potential fiscal burden. This column warns against the excessively exclusionary solutions to which voters are turning and suggests decoupling migration and the welfare state.

Giuseppe Bertola, 26 May 2009

In Europe, unemployment is increasing more rapidly than in earlier comparable crises. This column attributes that to the severity of the recession and the flexibility-oriented reforms that only recently brought European unemployment down. But that does not mean that the answer is re-regulation of labour markets.

Mike Elsby, Bart Hobijn, Aysegul Sahin, 14 February 2009

Unemployment is rising – job losses are up 30% in the US and 50% in the UK since 2007. How bad will it get? This column uses data on unemployment inflows and duration to predict labour market trends. A conservative estimate says that unemployment will reach at least 5% in Britain and 13.5% in Spain.

Roger Farmer, 04 February 2009

This column proposes a new paradigm to reconcile Keynesian economics with general equilibrium theory. It suggests that, just as it sets the fed funds rate to control inflation, the Fed should set a stock market index to control unemployment. This would not let every manufacturing firm and every bank fail at the same time “as a result of speculative movements in markets that serve no social purpose.”

Marcus Noland, Howard Pack, 01 August 2008

Arab countries face major unemployment problems that must be addressed. This column outlines the challenge and potential means of making progress.

Kent Matthews, Patrick Minford, Ruthira Naraidoo, 09 July 2008

Unemployment follows the business cycle but the average rate also seems to fluctuate over decades. Here Patrick Minford and coauthors propose a political economy explanation and back it up with evidence from the inter-war period.

John Micklewright, Gyula Nagy, 30 April 2008

Most studies of unemployment benefits examine benefit levels or lengths of payment, but how benefit schemes are administered is also important. This column reports the results of a randomised control trial conducted in Hungary, which show that closer monitoring of some benefit recipients shortened their unemployment spell.

Gianmarco Ottaviano, Giovanni Peri, 17 April 2008

Immigration of less educated, younger Eastern Europeans and North Africans to Western Europe would economically benefit its educated and older population. This column, summarising research on immigration effects in Germany, suggests that, to fully reap the benefits from immigration, Western Europe should make its labour markets more competitive and accessible to outsiders (immigrants) and its welfare state more selective.

Emilia del Bono, Rudolf Winter-Ebmer, 25 February 2008

Over the last century careers or jobs that provide opportunities for promotion and advancement have become more desirable for females and labour market conditions that impede the establishment of stable careers early in their lives like unemployment, temporary jobs or involuntary turnover, may be reasons for a delay or even a permanent reduction in fertility. The authors of CEPR DP6719 explore how women’s fertility decisions are affected by these considerations and find that certain stages of their careers might be particularly sensitive to labour supply interruptions.

Gilles Saint-Paul, 01 February 2008

France has agreed a raft of labour market reforms. Here one of France’s most market-oriented labour economists evaluates the likely impact, concluding that it’s an improvement, but heightens incentives to become unemployed.

Samuel Bentolila, Juan Dolado, Juan F Jimeno, 12 January 2008

Spain’s inflation-less drop in unemployment is due in large part to its immigration boom. If immigrants’ labour-supply behaviour comes closer to that of natives and inflation remains above target, a deeper slowdown or increasing immigration flows will be needed to bring it down.

Andrea Ichino, Rudolf Winter-Ebmer, Josef Zweimüller, Guido Schwerdt, 08 November 2007

Raising the retirement age is one of the standard solutions for Europe’s aging problem. But won’t this only increase their unemployment rate? New empirical evidence suggests that increasing the retirement age is unlikely to produce a band of workers who are too old to work but too young to retire.

Michael Burda, 23 October 2007

Germany’s equilibrium rate of unemployment has not fallen as much over the past two decades as in the Netherlands, Denmark, Ireland, and Britain. Unlike those successful reformers, Germany has not yet finished its supply-side homework. If it backslides now, it and the rest of Europe will pay the price when the next downturn comes.

Julia Lane, Harry Holzer , Fredrik Andersson, 15 October 2007

Research has long shown that workers who take temp jobs subsequently do better in the labour market. New research from the US suggests that the positive effects seem mostly to occur because those working for temp agencies have a higher chance of subsequently working for higher-wage firms.