The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
This paper examines the endogeneity of several structural variables which enter unemployment rate equations—the generosity of unemployment benefits, nonwage labor costs, the relative minimum wage, and the degree of unionization. It finds evidence of reverse causality for these structural variables based on causality tests. The structural unemployment rate equation is then estimated using instruments suggested by the empirical analysis of the structural variables. The paper confirms the earlier finding that the generosity of unemployment benefits, nonwage labor costs, and the relative minimum wage have a significant positive impact on the unemployment rate, but fails to find an effect for the degree of unionization.