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Looking for work

This is a photograph of people at a job fair.
Job fairs and job centers are often available to help match people to jobs. This fair took place in the U.S. (Hawaii), a high-income country with policies to keep unemployment levels in check. Unemployment is an issue that has different causes in different countries, and is especially severe in the low- and middle-income economies around the world. (Credit: modification of work by Daniel Ramirez/Flickr Creative Commons)

Youth unemployment: three cases

Chad Harding, a young man from Cape Town, South Africa, completed school having done well on his exams. He had high hopes for the future. Like many young South Africans, however, he had difficulty finding a job. “I was just stuck at home waiting, waiting for something to come up,” he said in a BBC interview in 2012. In South Africa 54.6% of young females and 47.2% of males are unemployed. In fact, the problem is not limited to South Africa. Seventy-three million of the world’s youth aged 15 to 24 are currently unemployed, according to the International Labour Organization.

According to the Wall Street Journal, in India, 60% of the labor force is self-employed, largely because of labor market regulation. A recent World Development Report by The World Bank says that India’s unemployed youth accounted for 9.9% of the youth work force in 2010. In Spain (a far richer country) in the same year, the female/male youth unemployment rate was 39.8% and 43.2% respectively.

Youth unemployment is a significant issue in many parts of the world. However, despite the apparent similarities in rates between South Africa, Spain, and India, macroeconomic policy solutions to decrease youth unemployment in these three countries are different. This chapter will look at macroeconomic policies around the world, specifically those related to reducing unemployment, promoting economic growth, and stable inflation and exchange rates. Then we will look again at the three cases of South Africa, Spain, and India.

Introduction to macroeconomic policy around the world

In this chapter, you will learn about:

  • The Diversity of Countries and Economies across the World
  • Improving Countries’ Standards of Living
  • Causes of Unemployment around the World
  • Causes of Inflation in Various Countries and Regions
  • Balance of Trade Concerns

There are extraordinary differences in the composition and performance of economies across the world. What explains these differences? Are countries motivated by similar goals when it comes to macroeconomic policy? Can we apply the same macroeconomic framework developed in this text to understand the performance of these countries? Let’s take each of these questions in turn.

Explaining differences : Recall from Unemployment that we explained the difference in composition and performance of economies by appealing to an aggregate production function. We argued that the diversity of average incomes across the world was explained by differences in productivity, which in turn were affected by inputs such as capital deepening, human capital, and “technology.” Every economy has its own distinctive economic characteristics, institutions, history, and political realities, which imply that access to these “ingredients” will vary by country and so will economic performance.

For example, South Korea invested heavily in education and technology to increase agricultural productivity in the early 1950s. Some of this investment came from its historical relationship with the United States. As a result of these and many other institutions, its economy has managed to converge to the levels of income in leading economies like Japan and the United States.

Similar goals and frameworks : Many economies that have performed well in terms of per capita income have—for better or worse—been motivated by a similar goal: to maintain the quality of life of their citizens. Quality of life is a broad term, but as you can imagine it includes but is not limited to such things as low level of unemployment, price stability (low levels of inflation), and the ability to trade. These seem to be universal macroeconomic goals as discussed in The Macroeconomic Perspective . No country would argue against them. To study macroeconomic policy around the world, we begin by comparing standards of living. In keeping with these goals, we also look at indicators such as unemployment, inflation, and the balance of trade policies across countries. Remember that every country has had a diverse set of experiences; therefore although our goals may be similar, each country may well require macroeconomic policies tailored to its circumstances.

For more reading on the topic of youth unemployment, visit this website to read “Generation Jobless” in the Economist .

Questions & Answers

juxtapose indisputable fact of scarcity
Adebayo Reply
what is opportunity cost?
Humphrey
Opportunity cost is the want sacrificed to satisfy another want.
Joseph
opportunity cost is a forgone alternative, example if a consumer wants to buy a book Nd a pen but he does not have the money for both then he drops the pen Nd buys the book..... so the pen that he dropped Is the opportunity cost
chimdindu
a.o.a..
Imran
opportunity cost is the alternative forgone or goods that is left on satisfied in order to satify another want
richmond
it is also the satisfaction of a want with the expense of another want
richmond
what is surplus value theory
Ayunku
what is the equilibrium quantity
Zinna Reply
differentiate between equilibrium and equilibrium point
Adebayo
Leo Robinson's definition
Adejimi Reply
how is equilibrium defined in financial markets?
Babakura Reply
the concept of it
DALOM
Country A has export sales 20 billion, government purchases 1000billion, business investment is 50 billion, imports are 40billion, and consumption spending is 2000billin. What is the dollar value of GDP ?
Habtamu Reply
what is determination of national income?
Waqar Reply
economic growth
Rukaiya
stock of capital
Rukaiya
we're RBI keep money with them
Anil
Y =C+l
Favour
evaluate the success affirmative action as one of south Africa's redress method
Tebatso Reply
what is market equilibrium
explorer Reply
it is a situation in which the supply of an item is exactly equal to it dd .
Ssmith
inder wat condition shld a firm stop production in both short n lungrun ?
Ssmith
what is 2nd degree price discrimination?
Ssmith
what is quantity
Tettey
what is quantity2
Deji Reply
An indefinite amount of something.
explorer
what is the opportunity cost of producing 20 loaves of bread?
Zinna
what is demand
Kaman Reply
in ordinary sense demand means desire
Khalid
demand in economics means both willingness as well as the ability to purchase a commodity by paying a price an also its actuall purchase
Khalid
what is absolute advantage
Khalid
demand refers to the various quantity of goods and services that consumers are willing and able to purchase at a particular period of time all other things been equal
Dela
The amount of a good or service that consumers are willing to buy at a particular price.
explorer
what is cost pull inflation?
oru
what is utility
oru
what is cost pull inflation?
oru
demand is economic principle referring to a consumer's desire and willingness to pay a price for a specific or service..
Babakura
utility is the among of certisfaction driving from using a comundity
Anas
pull cost of inflation hight population unemployment to some of The country members poor government system
Anas
what is a buffer scheme
Lukong
state the second law of demand and supply
Ahmadou Reply
state the law of diminishing marginal utility
Ahmadou
dt know WATS the answer
Rukundo
mention and explain two Bank I financial institutions and two non baking financial institutions
Onah Reply
wat is demand pull inflation
Tony Reply
Demand-pull inflation is asserted to arise when aggregate demandin an economy outpaces aggregate supply. It involvesinflation rising as real gross domestic product rises and unemployment falls, as the economy moves along the Phillips curve.
kevin
Perfectly elastic demand
Abubakar Reply
this is a form of demand where goods are demanded at a constant price
Rukundo
what inelastic demanding
Koire
demand of any good demanded more after a certain period. if a commodity prices may high and scarcity of that resources.
Anil
cannot demand more
Anil
what is cross-elasticity of demand
Miles Reply
cross elasticity of demand is an economic concept that measures the responsiveness in the quantity demand of one good when a change in price takes place in other good
Mallekha
this is responsiveness quantity demanded keeping other factors constant
Rukundo

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Source:  OpenStax, Principles of economics. OpenStax CNX. Sep 19, 2014 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11613/1.11
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