What is Okun’s Law?

Okun’s law is an economic theory thatstates that there is a close relationship between a nation’s unemployment rate and its GDP growth. The law is named after Arthur Okun, who first proposed it in 1962. Okun was an economist who served as an advisor to President John F. Kennedy, and was instrumental in developing the country’s economic policy during the early 1960s.

The theory behind Okun’s law is that when unemployment is high, there are more workers available to be hired, which drives down wages. This, in turn, makes it less expensive for businesses to produce goods and services, which leads to an increase in GDP. When unemployment is low, the opposite happens; workers are scarce, so wages go up, making it more expensive for businesses to produce goods and services, resulting in a decrease in GDP.

There is a great deal of debate among economists as to whether or not Okun’s law is actually a law, or simply a theory. Some argue that the relationship between unemployment and GDP growth is not as strong as Okun claimed it to be. Others argue that the law only holds true in certain situations, such as when the overall economy is growing.

Regardless of whether or not it is truly a law, Okun’s law is still an important concept to understand. It can help economists and policy makers predict how changes in unemployment will affect GDP growth, and vice versa. It can also help them devise policies that will encourage economic growth while keeping unemployment low.

How does Okun’s law work?

Okun’s law is an economics rule that states that for every 1% increase in a country’s unemployment rate, there is a corresponding 2% decrease in the country’s GDP.

There are a number of reasons why Okun’s law exists. One reason is that when people are unemployed, they have less money to spend on goods and services. This reduces demand, which in turn reduces production and leads to a decrease in GDP.

Another reason is that unemployed workers often have to take lower-paying jobs, which reduces the average wage in the country. This also reduces demand and leads to a decrease in GDP.

Finally, when people are unemployed, they tend to reduce their spending on things like housing, cars, and vacations. This also reduces demand and leads to a decrease in GDP.

Despite these factors, there are also reasons to be optimistic about Okun’s law. One reason is that when people have jobs, they are able to afford basic necessities like food and shelter, which helps keep the economy stable.

Another reason is that when the unemployment rate goes down, it often means that the economy is growing, and this leads to an increase in GDP.

In conclusion, while Okun’s law has its drawbacks, there are also a number of reasons to be optimistic about it. It’s important to keep in mind that the law is not set in stone, and can be affected by a variety of factors. However, overall, it is a good indicator of how the economy is doing.

When is Okun’s law Useful?

Okun’s law is a macroeconomic theory that states that there is a linear relationship between a country’s rate of economic growth and the rate of unemployment. The theory was developed by American economist Arthur Okun in 1962.

The theory is often used by policy makers to evaluate the effectiveness of economic policies. For example, if a country’s unemployment rate is high, policy makers may use Okun’s law to estimate the amount of economic growth that would be necessary to reduce the unemployment rate.

Okun’s law is not always accurate, and it has been critiqued by some economists. However, it remains a useful tool for policy makers and economists to consider when making decisions about the economy.


Brian is a veteran in mortgage training and has 30 years of experience in training Loan Officers. He is a licensed mortgage broker and real estate agent.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *