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Lutter contre le chômage de masse en Europe

Abstract : How to fight against mass unemployment in Europe ? Henri Sterdyniak, Emmanuel Fourmann, Frédéric Lerais (OFCE), Henri Delessy, Frédéric Busson (СЕРП) In 1994, the number of unemployed in the European Union should exceed 18 million, which means a 12 % unemployment rate. According to our projection, the US recovery and the continuing interest rate cuts in Germany should not provide sufficient economic growth to limit the rise of unemployment in most European countries. What can economic policy do ? As a contribution to the debate, this paper discusses the effects on unemployment of different economic policy measures. It uses, whenever possible, the MIMOSA model. A policy based on a quick reduction of fiscal deficits or on wage moderation would further limit demand, and would therefore prolong stagnation. Protectionnist measures against imports from low-wage regions are hardly conceivable, for both political and economic reasons. A strategy of sharply reducing the duration of work, together with a partial wage-compensation and a reorganisation of the production system, could certainly allow a major reduction in the unemployment rate without unbearable inflation. However neither firms nor already employed people have a clear interest in such a change. A more determined economic policy is then necessary. It should combine an important and rapid decrease in interest rates along with a temporary fiscal expansion, the latter including either cuts on employers' contribution (focusing on low wages), or tax reductions for households, or a raise in public investment. Our calculations give the requested order of magnitude and yield a strong conclusion : such a strategy could be efficient, at a limited budgetary cost, and without getting rid of the price stability target. It could therefore meet full support from the monetary authorities.
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Henri Sterdyniak, Emmanuel Fourmann, Frédéric Lerais, Henri Delessy, Frédéric Busson. Lutter contre le chômage de masse en Europe. Revue de l'OFCE, 1994, 48, pp.177 - 236. ⟨10.3406/ofce.1994.1358⟩. ⟨hal-03458186⟩

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