This paper examines the unemployment-output relationship in Greece, using a dynamic version of Okun’s Law. The Granger causality tests indicate that real output is important to understanding future movements in unemployment. The Okun’s ratio is 3-to-1, implying that one percent increase in unemployment has been associated to a three percent decrease in real output during the last thirteen years. In addition, the response of unemployment to real output is found to be stronger when there is a contraction rather than an expansion of real activity. This empirical fact is consistent with the developments of the Beveridge curve, which illustrate that a significant portion of actual unemployment is structural in nature. Therefore, a fall in unemployment will require not only a pick-up in aggregate demand but also structural reforms in the Greek labour market, which will make the economy competitive and reduce long-term unemployment.
by Costas Karfakis & Konstantinos Katrakilidis & Eftychia Tsanana