CREAP2006-15:The macroeconomics of the labor market: Three fundamental views

We distinguish and assess three fundamental views of the labor market regarding the movements in unempoyment: (i) the frictionless equilibrium view; (ii) the chain reaction theory, or prolonged adjustment view; and (iii) the hysteresis view. While the frictionless view implies a clear compartmentalization between the short- and long-run, the hysteresis view implies that all the short-run fluctuations automatically turn into long-run changes in the unemployment rate. We assert the problems faced by these conceptions in explaining the diversity of labor market experiences across the OECD labor markets. We argue that the prolonged adjustment view can overcome these problems since it implies that the short, medium, and long runs are interrelated, merging with one another along an intertemporal continuum. 

Marika Karanassou; Hector Sala (GEAP) and Dennis J. Snower


CREAP2006-01: Economic development and changes in car ownership patterns

The contributions of this paper are twofold: On the one hand, the paper analyses the factors determining the growth in car ownership in Spain over the last two decades, and, on the other, the paper provides empirical evidence for a controversial methodological issue. From a methodological point of view, the paper compares the two alternative decision mechanisms used for modelling car ownership: ordered-response versus unordered-response mechanisms. A discrete choice model is estimated at three points in time: 1980, 1990 and 2000. The study concludes that on the basis of forecasting performance, the multinomial logit model and the ordered probit model are almost undistinguishable. As for the empirical results, it can be emphasised that income elasticity is not constant and declines as car ownership increases. Besides, households living in rural areas are less sensitive than those living in urban areas. Car ownership is also sensitive to the quality of public transport for those living in the largest cities. The results also confirmed the existence of a generation effect, which will vanish around the year 2020, a weak life-cycle effect, and a positive effect of employment on the number of cars per household. Finally, the change in the estimated coefficients over time reflects an increase in mobility needs and, consequently, an increase in car ownership.

Anna Matas (GEAP); Josep-Lluís Raymond (GEAP)