The European Unemployment Problem: Past Trajectory, Present Dilemmas and Future Policies

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After the Covid pandemic, the choices policymakers face are dire: while inflation has reached highs not seen since the early 1980s, unemployment reached lows not seen since the late 1960s. While the academic, policy and media debate has focused so far almost exclusively on how to tame inflation, it would be over-optimistic to expect that such attention would not next have to turn to unemployment. This will have particularly severe consequences to European countries because of their high levels of economic integration.

Keynote speakers: Tito Boeri (Bocconi), and Evi Pappa (Carlos III)

Organizers: Nauro F. Campos (UCL), Vera Eichenauer (ETH), and Jan-Egbert Sturm (ETH)

The economics literature famously uses the term “European Unemployment Problem” to refer to the fact that unemployment rates have been persistently higher in Europe than in the US for the last half a century. This has motivated an enormous amount of research and attracted huge interest from civil society and policymakers. It has important gender and youth implications that have not yet been fully studied. After Covid, policymakers need to evaluate the new macroeconomic landscape and formulate macroeconomic policy appropriately. The proposed workshop will inform and contribute to this debate.

The aim of the proposed workshop is to bring together a group of leading researchers working on these issues to help map the frontier and distil novel policy suggestions. We will invite a mix of well-established and young researchers who can contribute to the analysis from different angles.


Topics
We welcome papers addressing these and related questions:
- What are the recent theoretical explanations for the sustained differential between unemployment rates in the US and in Europe?
- What are the new or updated set of stylised facts about the European Unemployment Problem?
- How to understand the trade-off between unemployment and inflation and its medium and long-term implications?
- What role for gender differences in understanding the European Unemployment Problem?
- What role for youth unemployment in understanding the European Unemployment Problem?
How is the experience of specific individual European countries useful to understand the issue at hand?


Dissemination strategy
We have secured from the editors that a selection of papers from this conference will be published as a Special Issue (SI) of the European Economic Review (EER). The (guest-)editors of this SI will be Nauro Campos, Vera Eichenauer, and Jan-Egbert Sturm. The papers presented at the workshop will be revised after the workshop and then reviewed. Final publication decisions are based on a standard refereeing process.


Submission details
Please submit papers by sending an email containing your name, your affiliation, and a pdf version of the paper as attachment to europeanunemployment@kof.ethz.ch. The deadline for submissions is 12 February 2023 at midnight CET. Authors of papers that are accepted for presentation at the workshop will be notified early March.
 

Important dates
Submission deadline: February 12, 2023
Notifications: early March 2023
Final draft of papers due: June 1, 2023
Conference: Monday and Tuesday, June 5-6, 2023
There is no participation fee, and the organisers will cover lunches and dinners.

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