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 link between capital stock and unemployment persistence. An overlapping-generations model with endogenous labor supply and imperfect competition is presented. It is used to interpret the unusual persistence of unemployment in Trinidad and Tobago during the last twenty years. Although real wages are 60 percent lower today than in the mid-1980s, unemployment continues to be very high. The paper argues that an important part of the explanation lies in the decline of capital stock in this country after years of very low savings and investment. Policies to address this capital shortage are discussed.