Workers' flows in the European Union during the great recession

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IZA Seminar

Place: Schaumburg-Lippe-Str. 9, 53113 Bonn

Date: 23.06.2014, 12:15 - 13:30


Presentation by 

Juan F. Jimeno (Bank of Spain)


Using data from the European Labour Force Survey, we measure the contribution of workers’ flows to the change in the unemployment rate in some EU countries during 2007-2012, highlighting the main socio-demographics characteristics of the individuals transiting between employment and unemployment. While the increase in the unemployment rate as well as the socio-demographic composition of workers’ flows substantially differ across EU countries, a clear pattern emerges by which a classification in three groups is warranted: i) those where the increase in unemployment has been negligible (Germany, Austria, Belgium), ii) those with a moderate increase in unemployment (Denmark, France, Italy, Sweden, UK), and iii) those where unemployment surged (Greece, Portugal, Spain). As for the socio-demographic characteristics, we observe that age, to a larger extent than educational attainments, are the main determinants of flows from employment into unemployment, particularly in those countries where unemployment increased by most. This suggests that labour market institutions together with the employment policies followed during the crisis (or the lack of them) have very much conditioned the employment adjustments during the Great Recession in EU labour markets.

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