Structural Unemployment in Luxembourg: Bad Luck or Rational Choice?


William Gbohoui

Publication Date:

November 8, 2019

Electronic Access:

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Disclaimer: IMF Working Papers describe research in progress by the author(s) and are published to elicit comments and to encourage debate. The views expressed in IMF Working Papers are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the views of the IMF, its Executive Board, or IMF management.


This paper combines both micro and macro approaches to identify the drivers of (un)employment and inactivity in Luxembourg. The young, low-skilled, and non-EU migrants are found to be the most vulnerable groups in the labor market. In addition to skills mismatches, work disincentives embedded in the tax-benefit system constitute a factor explaining structural unemployment. High unemployment of young and low-skilled workers reflects substantial unemployment traps, while disincentives for second earners (respectively the generosity of the pension system) contribute to lower labor market participation of women (respectively seniors). Further reduction of structural unemployment requires better integration of vulnerable groups into the labor market and improved targeting of benefits to make work more rewarding.


Working Paper No. 2019/243



Publication Date:

November 8, 2019



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