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Abstract

The need to avert the negative effects of unemployment has made the tackling of unemployment problems to feature very prominently in the development objectives of many developing countries. Incidentally, most of these countries' economies are also characterized by low productivity. Thus, it seems obvious to many policy makers that there must be a straight forward connection between productivity and employment/unemployment. However, the theoretical linkage between productivity and unemployment is yet to be settled in the literature. While some researchers posit that higher productivity may increase unemployment (e.g. Diachavbre, 1991; Krugman, 1994), some others argue that it could increase employment (e.g Yesufu, 1984; Akerele, 1994; CEC, 1993). In view of the unfolding reality coupled with the protracted debates this paper attempts to examine the linkage between productivity and unemployment. Specifically, it examines the dimensions of productivity and unemployment in Nigeria as well as the direction of causality between them. To this end, the rest of the paper is organized thus. Following this introduction is part II, which examines the conceptual and theoretical is sues. Part III discusses the profile of productivity and unemployment in Nigeria while the empirical link between them is examined in part IV. The final part contains the policy implications and conclusions.

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