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.
The Greek unemployment rate rose from 2 percent in the 1960s to 9-10 percent in the 1990s. This reflected the increase in female participation rates, the slowdown in growth, the restructuring of production, and the increased mismatch between jobs and job seekers. But the most crucial factor was the persistence of real wage aspirations. The paper develops and tests a model that attributes this to the rapid expansion in the number of easy, life-time government jobs and the increase in the public/private wage differential during the 1980s.