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Curbing unemployment in Europe: are there lessons from Ireland and the Netherlands?
Since the mid-1980s, unemployment rates in Ireland and the Netherlands have plummeted, while the average rate for the European Union has maintained its longtime high level. Ambitious labor market reforms_including wage moderation and the tightening of unemployment benefits_have helped to bring the Irish and Dutch rates down. Other European countries would benefit from adopting similar reforms, but they are unlikely to see the same dramatic improvement in their unemployment numbers.