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The Role in Demand Management Policies in Reducing Unemployment

C  Bean,  November 1994
Paper No' CEPDP0222:
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This Paper is published under the following series: CEP Discussion Papers
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Abstract:

This paper considers the scope for demand management policies to reduce the present high levels of European unemployment. While the evidence suggests that contractionary demand shocks are partly to blame, the presence of endogenous persistence mechanisms limit the scope for effective activist policies. Furthermore, in isolation they can do nothing to tackle the significant fraction due to adverse supply, or structural, developments. However, if appropriate supply-side policies are introduced, supportive demand management policies can speed the reduction in unemployment. The paper considers what such supportive demand management policies should look like and argues that in some cases a mild, although temporary, increase in inflation may be appropriate. The implications of uncertainty about the equilibrium rate of unemployment are also considered. The paper argues that such supportive policies are probably best sustained through monetary rather than fiscal policies and are likely to require changes in intra-European real exchange rates. Consequently a rapid move to full monetary union may be ill advised. Finally a potential role for temporary incomes policies is also identified.