Stephen J. Nickell (1944–)

  • Jan C. van OursEmail author


Steve Nickell is a researcher who has covered a lot of ground. At the start of his career, he worked on theoretical issues, quickly moving on to do empirical work. Nickell studied product market-related topics, but the focus of his work has been on labour market issues, ranging from individual unemployment durations to aggregate labour market institutions. In his research, Nickell emphasizes that distortions in the labour market are predominantly related to the system of benefits and the process of wage determination. According to Nickell, to reduce unemployment, governments should stimulate product market competition and link unemployment benefits to active labour market policies in order to move people from welfare to work.


Steve Nickell Economics Unemployment Labour market institutions 


Main Works by Stephen J. Nickell

  1. Andrews, M. and S.J. Nickell (1982). ‘Unemployment in the United Kingdom Since the War’. Review of Economic Studies, 49(5): 731–759.Google Scholar
  2. Bean, C., R. Layard and S.J. Nickell (1986). ‘The Rise in Unemployment: A Multi-country Study’. Economica, New Series, 53(210): S1–S22.Google Scholar
  3. Bell, B., S.J. Nickell and G. Quintini (2002). ‘Wage Equations, Wage Curves and All That’. Labour Economics, 9(3): 341–360.Google Scholar
  4. Denny, K. and S.J. Nickell (1991). ‘Unions and Investment in British Manufacturing Industry’. British Journal of Industrial Relations, 29(1): 113–121.Google Scholar
  5. Denny, K and S.J. Nickell (1992). ‘Unions and Investment in British Industry’. Economic Journal, 102(413): 874–887.Google Scholar
  6. Faggio, G. and S.J. Nickell (2005). ‘The Responsiveness of Wages to Labour Market Conditions in the UK’. Labour Economics, 12(5): 685–696.Google Scholar
  7. Lancaster, T. and S.J. Nickell (1980). ‘The Analysis of Re-employment Probabilities for the Unemployed’. Journal of the Royal Statistical Society, Series A, 143(2): 141–165.Google Scholar
  8. Layard, R., D. Metcalf and S.J. Nickell (1978). ‘The Effect of Collective Bargaining on Relative and Absolute Wages’. British Journal of Industrial Relations, 16(3): 287–302.Google Scholar
  9. Layard, R. and S.J. Nickell (1980). ‘The Case for Subsidising Extra Jobs’. Economic Journal, 90(357): 51–73.Google Scholar
  10. Layard, R. and S.J. Nickell (1985a). ‘The Causes of British Unemployment’. National Institute Economic Review, 111(1): 62–85.Google Scholar
  11. Layard, R. and S.J. Nickell (1985b). ‘Unemployment, Real Wages and Aggregate Demand in Europe, Japan and the U.S’. Carnegie–Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, 23(1): 143–202.Google Scholar
  12. Layard, R. and S.J. Nickell (1986). ‘Unemployment in Britain’. Economica, New Series, 53(210): S121–S169.Google Scholar
  13. Layard, R. and S.J. Nickell (1989). ‘The Thatcher Miracle?’. American Economic Review, 79(2): 215–219.Google Scholar
  14. Layard, R. and S.J. Nickell (1990). ‘Is Unemployment Lower if Unions Bargain Over Employment?’. Quarterly Journal of Economics, 105(3): 773–787.Google Scholar
  15. Layard, R. and S.J. Nickell (2011). Combating Unemployment. IZA Prize in Labor Economics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  16. Layard, R., S.J. Nickell and R. Jackman (1991). Unemployment: Macroeconomic Performance and the Labour Market. First edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  17. Layard, R., S.J. Nickell and R. Jackman (2005). Unemployment: Macroeconomic Performance and the Labour Market. Second edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  18. Narendranathan, W., S.J. Nickell and J. Stern (1985). ‘Unemployment Benefits Revisited’. Economic Journal, 95(378): 307–329.Google Scholar
  19. Narendranathan, W. and S.J. Nickell (1985). ‘Modelling the Process of Job Search’. Journal of Econometrics, 28(1): 29–49.Google Scholar
  20. Nickell, S.J. (1974a). ‘On the Role of Expectations in the Pure Theory of Investment’. Review of Economic Studies, 41(1): 1–19.Google Scholar
  21. Nickell, S.J. (1974b). ‘On Expectations, Government Policy and the Rate of Investment’. Economica, New Series, 41(163): 241–255.Google Scholar
  22. Nickell, S.J. (1975). ‘A Closer Look at Replacement Investment’. Journal of Economic Theory, 10(1): 54–88.Google Scholar
  23. Nickell, S.J. (1977a). ‘The Influence of Uncertainty on Investment’. Economic Journal, 87(345): 47–70.Google Scholar
  24. Nickell, S.J. (1977b). ‘Uncertainty and Lags in the Investment Decisions of Firms’. Review of Economic Studies, 44(2): 249–263.Google Scholar
  25. Nickell, S.J. (1977c). ‘Trade Unions and the Position of Women in the Industrial Wage Structure’. British Journal of Industrial Relations, 15(2): 192–210.Google Scholar
  26. Nickell, S.J. (1978). ‘Fixed Costs, Employment and Labour Demand Over the Cycle’. Economica, New Series, 45(180): 329–345.Google Scholar
  27. Nickell, S.J. (1979a). ‘Estimating the Probability of Leaving Unemployment’. Econometrica, 47(5): 1249–1266.Google Scholar
  28. Nickell, S.J. (1979b). ‘The Effect of Unemployment and Related Benefits on the Duration of Unemployment’. Economic Journal, 89(353): 34–49.Google Scholar
  29. Nickell, S.J. (1979c). ‘Unemployment and the Structure of Labour Costs’. Carnegie–Rochester Public Policy Conference Series, 11(1): 187–222.Google Scholar
  30. Nickell, S.J. (1979d). ‘Education and Lifetime Patterns of Unemployment’. Journal of Political Economy, 87(5): S117–S131.Google Scholar
  31. Nickell, S.J. (1981). ‘Biases in Dynamic Models with Fixed Effects’. Econometrica, 49(6): 1417–1426.Google Scholar
  32. Nickell, S.J. (1982). ‘The Determinants of Equilibrium Unemployment in Britain’. Economic Journal, 92(367): 555–575.Google Scholar
  33. Nickell, S.J. (1984a). ‘An Investigation of the Determinants of Manufacturing Employment in the UK’. Review of Economic Studies, 51(4): 529–557.Google Scholar
  34. Nickell, S.J. (1984b). ‘A Review of Unemployment: Cause and Cure, by P. Minford with D. Davies, M. Peel and A. Sprague’. Economic Journal, 94(376): 946–953.Google Scholar
  35. Nickell, S.J. (1986). ‘Dynamic Models of Labour Demand’. Chapter 9 in O. Ashenfelter and R. Layard (eds) Handbook of Labor Economics. Volume 1. Amsterdam: North-Holland: 473–522.Google Scholar
  36. Nickell, S.J. (1987). ‘Why Is Wage Inflation in Britain So High?’. Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, 49(1): 103–128.Google Scholar
  37. Nickell, S.J. (1990a). ‘Inflation and the UK Labour Market’. Oxford Review of Economic Policy, 6(4): 26–35.Google Scholar
  38. Nickell, S.J. (1990b). ‘Unemployment: A Survey’. Economic Journal, 100(401): 391–439.Google Scholar
  39. Nickell, S.J. (1996). ‘Competition and Corporate Performance’. Journal of Political Economy, 104(4): 724–746.Google Scholar
  40. Nickell, S.J. (1997). ‘Unemployment and Labour Market Rigidities: Europe Versus North America’. Journal of Economic Perspectives, 11(3): 55–74.Google Scholar
  41. Nickell, S.J. (1998). ‘Unemployment: Questions and Some Answers’. Economic Journal, 108(448): 802–816.Google Scholar
  42. Nickell, S.J. (1999). ‘Product Markets and Labour Markets’. Labour Economics, 6(1): 1–20.Google Scholar
  43. Nickell, S.J. (2004). ‘Poverty and Worklessness in Britain’. Economic Journal, 114(494): C1–C25.Google Scholar
  44. Nickell, S.J. and B. Bell (1996). ‘Changes in the Distribution of Wages and Unemployment in OECD Countries’. American Economic Review, 86(2): 302–308.Google Scholar
  45. Nickell, S.J. and P. Kong (1992). ‘An Investigation into the Power of Insiders in Wage Determination’. European Economic Review, 36(8): 1573–1599.Google Scholar
  46. Nickell, S.J. and R. Layard (1999). ‘Labour Market Institutions and Economic Performance’. Chapter 46 in O. Ashenfelter and D. Card (eds) Handbook of Labor Economics. Volume 3. Amsterdam: North-Holland: 3029–3084.Google Scholar
  47. Nickell, S.J. and D. Metcalf (1978). ‘Monopolistic Industries and Monopoly Profits or, Are Kellogg’s Cornflakes Overpriced?’. Economic Journal, 88(350): 254–268.Google Scholar
  48. Nickell, S.J. and D. Nicolitsas (1997). ‘Wages, Restrictive Practices and Productivity’. Labour Economics, 4(3): 201–221.Google Scholar
  49. Nickell, S.J. and D. Nicolitsas (1999). ‘How Does Financial Pressure Affect Firms?’. European Economic Review, 43(8): 1435–1456.Google Scholar
  50. Nickell, S.J., D. Nicolitsas and N. Dryden (1997). ‘What Makes Firms Perform Well?’. European Economic Review, 41(3–5): 783–796.Google Scholar
  51. Nickell, S.J., D. Nicolitsas and M. Patterson (2001). ‘Does Doing Badly Encourage Management Innovation?’. Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, 63(1): 5–28.Google Scholar
  52. Nickell, S.J., L. Nunziata and W. Ochel (2005). ‘Unemployment in the OECD Since the 1960s: What Do We Know?’. Economic Journal, 115(500): 1–27.Google Scholar
  53. Nickell, S.J. and G. Quintini (2003). ‘Nominal Wage Rigidity and the Rate of Inflation’. Economic Journal, 113(490): 762–781.Google Scholar
  54. Nickell, S.J. and J. Tymes (1976). ‘On the Properties of Linear Decision Rules and Their Derivation by an Iterative Procedure’. Econometrica, 44(2): 323–336.Google Scholar
  55. Nickell, S.J., J. Vainiomaki and S. Wadhwani (1994). ‘Wages and Product Market Power’. Economica, New Series, 61(244): 457–473.Google Scholar
  56. Nickell, S.J. and J.C. van Ours (2000a). ‘The Netherlands and the United Kingdom: A European Unemployment Miracle?’. Economic Policy, 15(30): 135–180.Google Scholar
  57. Nickell, S.J. and J.C. van Ours (2000b). ‘Why Has Unemployment in the Netherlands and the United Kingdom Fallen So Much?’. Canadian Public Policy, 26(July): S201–S220.Google Scholar
  58. Nickell, S.J. and S. Wadhwani (1988). ‘Unions, Wages and Employment: Tests Based on UK Firm-Level Data’. European Economic Review, 32(2–3): 727–733.Google Scholar
  59. Nickell, S.J. and S. Wadhwani (1990). ‘Insider Forces and Wage Determination’. Economic Journal, 100(401): 496–509.Google Scholar
  60. Nickell, S.J. and S. Wadhwani (1991). ‘Employment Determination in British Industry: Investigations Using Micro-data’. Review of Economic Studies, 58(5): 955–969.Google Scholar
  61. Nickell, S.J., S. Wadhwani and M. Wall (1992). ‘Productivity Growth in UK Companies’. European Economic Review, 36(5): 1055–1085.Google Scholar

Other Works Referred To

  1. Arellano, M. and S. Bond (1991). ‘Some Tests of Specification for Panel Data: Monte Carlo Evidence and an Application to Employment Equations’. Review of Economic Studies, 58(2): 277–297.Google Scholar
  2. Arpaia, A. and G. Mourre (2005). ‘Labour Market Institutions and Labour Market Performance: A Survey of the Literature’. Economic Paper 238. Brussels: European Commission.Google Scholar
  3. Bassanini, A. and R. Duval (2006). ‘Employment Patterns in OECD Countries: Reassessing the Role of Policies and Institutions’. Economics Department Working Papers 486. Paris: OECD.Google Scholar
  4. Bassanini, A. and R. Duval (2009). ‘Unemployment, Institutions and Reform Complementarities: Re-assessing the Aggregate Evidence for OECD Countries’. Oxford Review of Economic Policy, 25(1): 40–59.Google Scholar
  5. Belot, M. and J.C. van Ours (2001). ‘Unemployment and Labour Market Institutions: An Empirical Analysis’. Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, 15(4): 403–418.Google Scholar
  6. Belot, M. and J.C. van Ours (2004). ‘Does the Recent Success of Some OECD Countries in Lowering Their Unemployment Rates Lie in the Clever Design of Their Labour Market Reforms?’. Oxford Economic Papers, 56(4): 621–642.Google Scholar
  7. Blanchard, O. (2007). ‘A Review of Richard Layard, Stephen Nickell and Richard Jackman’s Unemployment: Macroeconomic Performance and the Labour Market’. Journal of Economic Literature, 45(2): 410–418.Google Scholar
  8. Blanchard, O. and J. Wolfers (2000). ‘The Role of Shocks and Institutions in the Rise of European Unemployment: The Aggregate Evidence’. Economic Journal, 110(462): 1–33.Google Scholar
  9. Boeri, T. and J.C. van Ours (2013). The Economics of Imperfect Labour Markets. Second edition. Princeton and Oxford: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  10. Card, D., J. Kluve and A. Weber (2010). ‘Active Labour Market Policy Evaluation: A Meta-Analysis’. Economic Journal, 120(548): F452–F477.Google Scholar
  11. Daveri, F. and G. Tabellini (2000). ‘Unemployment, Growth and Taxation in Industrial Countries’. Economic Policy, 15(30): 47–104.Google Scholar
  12. Dixon, R., G.C. Lim and J.C. van Ours (2017). ‘Revisiting the Okun Relationship’. Applied Economics, 49(28): 2749–2765.Google Scholar
  13. Elbers, C. and G. Ridder (1982). ‘True and Spurious Duration Dependence: The Identifiability of the Proportional Hazard Model’. Review of Economic Studies, 49(3): 403–409.Google Scholar
  14. Elmeskov, J., J.P. Martin and S. Scarpetta (1998). ‘Key Lessons for Labour Market Reforms: Evidence from OECD Countries’ Experience’. Swedish Economic Policy Review, 5(2): 205–252.Google Scholar
  15. Heckman, J.J. and B. Singer (1984). ‘A Method for Minimizing the Impact of Distributional Assumptions in Econometric Models for Duration Data’. Econometrica, 52(2): 271–320.Google Scholar
  16. Lancaster, T. (1979). ‘Econometric Methods for the Duration of Unemployment’. Econometrica, 47(4): 939–956.Google Scholar
  17. Minford, A.P.L., P. Ashton, M. Peel, D. Davies and A. Sprague (1983). Unemployment: Cause and Cure. Oxford: Basil Blackwell.Google Scholar
  18. OECD (1994). The OECD Jobs Study: Evidence and Explanations. Volumes I and II. Paris: OECD.Google Scholar
  19. Phelps, E.S. (1992). ‘A Review of Unemployment’. Journal of Economic Literature, 30(3): 1476–1490.Google Scholar
  20. Scarpetta, S. (1996). ‘Assessing the Role of Labour Market Policies and Institutional Settings on Unemployment: A Cross-Country Study’. OECD Economic Studies, 26(1): 43–98.Google Scholar
  21. Tatsiramos, K. and J.C. van Ours (2014). ‘Labour Market Effects of Unemployment Insurance Design’. Journal of Economic Surveys, 28(2): 284–311.Google Scholar
  22. van Ours, J.C. (2015). ‘The Great Recession Was Not So Great’. Labour Economics, 34(June): 1–12.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Erasmus School of EconomicsRotterdamThe Netherlands

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