In Keynesian economics, underemployment equilibrium is a situation with a persistent shortfall relative to full employment and potential output so that unemployment is higher than at the NAIRU or the "natural" rate of unemployment.
Economics is the social science that studies the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services.
Full employment means that everyone who wants a job can have work hours they need on "fair wages". Because people switch jobs, full employment means a stable rate of unemployment around 1 to 2 per cent of the total workforce, but does not allow for underemployment where part-time workers cannot find hours they need for a decent living. In macroeconomics, full employment is sometimes defined as the level of employment at which there is no cyclical or deficient-demand unemployment.
In economics, potential output refers to the highest level of real gross domestic product that can be sustained over the long term.
The concept of underemployment equilibrium originates from analyzing underemployment in the context of General Equilibrium Theory, a branch of microeconomics. It describes a steady economic state when consumptions and production outputs are both suboptimal – many economic agents in the economy are producing less than what they could produce in some other equilibrium states. Economic theory dictates that underemployment equilibrium possesses certain stability features under standard assumptions – the “invisible hand” (market force) can not, by itself, alter the equilibrium outcome to a more socially desirable equilibrium. Exogenous forces such as fiscal policy have to be implemented in order to drive the economy to a better state.
In an economy : every economic agent h has a utility function and an initial endowment of wealth every firm f has a production function every agent’s share of firm f is An underemployment equilibrium, given a price vector p, is defined as the consumption-production vector such that 
Given a well-defined economy, there could be many stable equilibrium states – some are more desirable than others from a social welfare point of view. Many factors contribute to the existence of undesirable equilibriums, among which two are crucial for underemployment equilibrium: oversupply and insufficient demand. When the labor force are overeducated for the skill level of available employment opportunities in the economy, an underemployment equilibrium will occur. Insufficient demand addresses the same issue at the macro level. When there are many fewer job opportunities than unemployed individuals, the unemployment rate is high. Moreover, well-qualified workers will face a tougher job market and thus have to settle for jobs originally meant for less skilled individuals. “Oversupply” here refers to an excess in both labor quantity and quality.
Overqualification is the most common form of underemployment equilibrium and is a direct result of oversupply. It defines the situation when individuals work in professions which require less education, skill, experience or ability than they possess. In economic terms, these agents are producing less than their socially optimal output. Collectively, when a lot of individuals produce below their full potential, the economy is in a sub-optimal underemployment equilibrium.
Overstaffing refers to the state when firms in an economy are hiring more people than they need. This is much less common than overqualification. This redundancy invalidates unemployment rates as a signal for the existence of underemployment equilibrium. When firms are overstaffed, they can not achieve their maximum profit levels, which leads to undesirable social consequences such as low GDP growth.
During the 1930s, Great Depression, U.S. unemployment rate reached 25% and GDP growth rate fell to −13%. The U.S. economy at this period can be characterized by an underemployment equilibrium. On the one hand, many outside forces (including financial instability, hyper-inflation, lack of capital, etc.) created a negative shock to the demand of job market. On the other hand, the first two decades of the 20th century saw rapid advancement in production technologies, which effectively eliminated a large number of skilled jobs. Both of the above forces help create an insufficient demand of labor market during that time, causing an underemployment equilibrium. This particular underemployment equilibrium takes form of overqualification, characterized by high unemployment rate and low household incomes.
The Great Depression was a severe worldwide economic depression that took place mostly during the 1930s, beginning in the United States. The timing of the Great Depression varied across nations; in most countries it started in 1929 and lasted until the late-1930s. It was the longest, deepest, and most widespread depression of the 20th century. In the 21st century, the Great Depression is commonly used as an example of how intensely the world's economy can decline.
Graduates entering the job market in 2012 faced very tough competitions, caused by an oversupply of skilled workers, including fresh graduates and people who were laid off during the 2008 financial crisis. Graduates did not have enough time to respond to the 2008 financial crisis and continued to finish their degrees, only to find that there are not enough jobs upon graduation. This underemployment equilibrium state is characterized by overqualification – many college graduates are taking positions designed for less educated individuals due to gloomy job market conditions.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics calculates monthly the “Underemployment Rate” starting from January, 1948. The underemployment rate has a cyclical trend and is generally higher during recession periods. Similar to the unemployment rate, the underemployment rate varies for different subgroups of the labor force. For example, individuals with Ph.Ds enjoy low underemployment rate while individuals with high school diploma or lower usually suffer from a high underemployment rate.
Labour economics seeks to understand the functioning and dynamics of the markets for wage labour.
Pareto efficiency or Pareto optimality is a state of allocation of resources from which it is impossible to reallocate so as to make any one individual or preference criterion better off without making at least one individual or preference criterion worse off. The concept is named after Vilfredo Pareto (1848–1923), Italian engineer and economist, who used the concept in his studies of economic efficiency and income distribution.
New Keynesian economics is a school of contemporary macroeconomics that strives to provide microeconomic foundations for Keynesian economics. It developed partly as a response to criticisms of Keynesian macroeconomics by adherents of new classical macroeconomics.
The Phillips curve is a single-equation econometric model, named after William Phillips, describing a historical inverse relationship between rates of unemployment and corresponding rates of rises in wages that result within an economy. Stated simply, decreased unemployment, in an economy will correlate with higher rates of wage rises. Phillips did not himself state there was any relationship between employment and inflation, this notion was a trivial deduction from his statistical findings. Samuelson and Solow made the connection explicit and subsequently Milton Friedman and Edmund Phelps put the theoretical structure in place. In so doing, Friedman was to successfully predict the imminent collapse of Phillips' a-theoretic correlation.
In economics, economic equilibrium is a situation in which economic forces such as supply and demand are balanced and in the absence of external influences the (equilibrium) values of economic variables will not change. For example, in the standard textbook model of perfect competition, equilibrium occurs at the point at which quantity demanded and quantity supplied are equal. Market equilibrium in this case is a condition where a market price is established through competition such that the amount of goods or services sought by buyers is equal to the amount of goods or services produced by sellers. This price is often called the competitive price or market clearing price and will tend not to change unless demand or supply changes, and the quantity is called the "competitive quantity" or market clearing quantity. However, the concept of equilibrium in economics also applies to imperfectly competitive markets, where it takes the form of a Nash equilibrium.
Underemployment is the under-use of a worker due to a job that does not use the worker's skills, or is part time, or leaves the worker idle. Examples include holding a part-time job despite desiring full-time work, and overqualification, where the employee has education, experience, or skills beyond the requirements of the job.
Mechanism design is a field in economics and game theory that takes an engineering approach to designing economic mechanisms or incentives, toward desired objectives, in strategic settings, where players act rationally. Because it starts at the end of the game, then goes backwards, it is also called reverse game theory. It has broad applications, from economics and politics to networked-systems.
In labor economics, the efficiency wage hypothesis argues that wages, at least in some markets, form in a way that is not market-clearing. Specifically, it points to the incentive for managers to pay their employees more than the market-clearing wage in order to increase their productivity or efficiency, or reduce costs associated with turnover, in industries where the costs of replacing labor are high. This increased labor productivity and/or decreased costs pay for the higher wages.
There are two fundamental theorems of welfare economics. The first theorem states that a market will tend toward a competitive equilibrium that is weakly Pareto optimal when the market maintains the following three attributes:
In game theory, the core is the set of feasible allocations that cannot be improved upon by a subset of the economy's agents. A coalition is said to improve upon or block a feasible allocation if the members of that coalition are better off under another feasible allocation that is identical to the first except that every member of the coalition has a different consumption bundle that is part of an aggregate consumption bundle that can be constructed from publicly available technology and the initial endowments of each consumer in the coalition.
The GDP gap or the output gap is the difference between actual GDP or actual output and potential GDP. The calculation for the output gap is Y–Y* where Y is actual output and Y* is potential output. If this calculation yields a positive number it is called an inflationary gap and indicates the growth of aggregate demand is outpacing the growth of aggregate supply—possibly creating inflation; if the calculation yields a negative number it is called a recessionary gap—possibly signifying deflation.
Walras's law is a principle in general equilibrium theory asserting that budget constraints imply that the values of excess demand must sum to zero. That is:
In economics, incomplete markets are markets in which the number of Arrow–Debreu securities is less than the number of states of nature. In contrast with complete markets, this shortage of securities will likely restrict individuals from transferring the desired level of wealth among states.
In microeconomics, search theory studies buyers or sellers who cannot instantly find a trading partner, and must therefore search for a partner prior to transacting.
Involuntary unemployment occurs when a person is willing to work at the prevailing wage yet is unemployed. Involuntary unemployment is distinguished from voluntary unemployment, where workers choose not to work because their reservation wage is higher than the prevailing wage. In an economy with involuntary unemployment there is a surplus of labor at the current real wage. Involuntary unemployment cannot be represented with a basic supply and demand model at a competitive equilibrium: All workers on the labor supply curve above the market wage would voluntarily choose not to work, and all those below the market wage would be employed. Given the basic supply and demand model, involuntarily unemployed workers lie somewhere off of the labor supply curve. Economists have several theories explaining the possibility of involuntary unemployment including implicit contract theory, disequilibrium theory, staggered wage setting, and efficiency wages.
NAIRU is an acronym for non-accelerating inflation rate of unemployment, and refers to a level of unemployment below which inflation rises. It was first introduced as NIRU by Franco Modigliani and Lucas Papademos in 1975, as an improvement over the "natural rate of unemployment" concept, which was proposed earlier by Milton Friedman.
In economics, matching theory, also known as search and matching theory, is a mathematical framework attempting to describe the formation of mutually beneficial relationships over time.
In economics, factor payments are the income people receive for supplying the factors of production: land, labor, capital or entrepreneurship.
A borrowing limit is the amount of money that individuals could borrow from other individuals, firms, banks or governments. There are many types of borrowing limits, and a natural borrowing limit is one specific type of borrowing limit among those. When individuals are said to face the natural borrowing limit, it implies they are allowed to borrow up to the sum of all their future incomes. A natural debt limit and a natural borrowing constraint are other ways to refer to the natural borrowing limit.
This glossary of economics is a list of definitions of terms and concepts used in economics, its sub-disciplines, and related fields.
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The International Standard Book Number (ISBN) is a numeric commercial book identifier which is intended to be unique. Publishers purchase ISBNs from an affiliate of the International ISBN Agency.
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