Sponsored by WAGE and Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs

Co-sponsored by Dept. of Economics, Dept. of Political Science, Institute for Research on Poverty, Center for European Studies, and EU Center of Excellence

Conference on Long term unemployment in industrial countries: Causes, Consequences and Policy Responses


Menzie Chinn and Mark Copelovitch, Organizers


April 28, 2011


University of Wisconsin Pyle Center, 702 Langdon St.

Madison, Wisconsin

The Great Recession has sparked a debate over the key causes of the surge in unemployment in the industrial countries. One camp argues that the largest component of new unemployment in the United States and other advanced economies arises from cyclical factors, namely the sharp decline in aggregate demand in the wake of the global economic crisis. Another camp views the bulk of the increase in unemployment as structural in nature, arising either from a mismatch between labor skills and the skills demanded by employers, geographical mismatch, or the rising relative cost of labor. Still others argue that government policies have exacerbated these economic trends and contributed to the persistence and severity of the unemployment problem in the industrialized countries. In any case, elevated levels of long term unemployment are likely to persist for the foreseeable future, posing a series of challenges to policymakers throughout the industrialized world. In this conference, we aim to analyze the economic and political causes and consequences of long-term unemployment, as well as the potential policy responses that governments might pursue to address this problem in the coming years. The audience for the morning session will encompass both the general public and the UW community, while the afternoon sessions will be particularly of interest to UW students and faculty.

Open session: Alumni Lounge

Breakfast: 8:30-9:00

9am-11am. Panel - Long term unemployment in industrial countries: Causes, Consequences and Policy Responses

Academic sessions: Rooms 325/326

1:30pm-3pm. Session 1: Politics, and Policy (in conjunction with the Political Economy workshop)

3:30pm-5pm. Session 2: Identifying the sources of long term unemployment

RSVP for morning session appreciated, but not required. For more information, contact Terry Shelton, 262-3038 shelton [at] lafollette.wisc.edu.

For more information regarding specifically afternoon sessions, contact mchinn [at] lafollette.wisc.edu.

Link to Biographies of the Participants

Link to Some background readings

Last revised 8/3/2011