NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

European Unemployment: The Evolution of Facts and Ideas

Olivier Blanchard

NBER Working Paper No. 11750
Issued in November 2005
NBER Program(s):   EFG   LS

In the 1970s, European unemployment started increasing. It increased further in the 1980s, to reach a plateau in the 1990s. It is still high today, although the average unemployment rate hides a high degree of heterogeneity across countries. The focus of researchers and policy makers was initially on the role of shocks. As unemployment remained high, the focus has progressively shifted to institutions. This paper reviews the interaction of facts and theories, and gives a tentative assessment of what we know and what we still do not know.

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This paper was revised on November 3, 2005

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Published: Olivier Blanchard, 2006. "European unemployment: the evolution of facts and ideas," Economic Policy, CEPR, CES, MSH, vol. 21(45), pages 5-59, 01.

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