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Nominal and real wage flexibility in EMU

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  • Alfonso Arpaia

    ()

  • Karl Pichelmann

    ()

Abstract

Both common macroeconomic shocks and country-specific developments have subjected the flexibility of wage setting mechanisms in the euro area to a stress test in recent years. Against this background, this paper takes a fresh look at wage flexibility in EMU and attempts to draw a few lessons from the experience of the early years. First, we set the stage for the analysis by providing a brief description of the stylised facts regarding nominal and real wage and unit labour cost developments in the euro area over the recent business cycle. Then, the paper presents an empirical assessment of wage inertia based on new econometric estimates of a Phillips-curve type wage equation across euro area countries and offers an interpretation of the main findings with respect to nominal and real wage flexibility. Finally, we investigate the cyclical responsiveness of relative competitive positions among euro area countries. We conclude that from a bird's eye perspective euro area wage and labour cost dynamics have been quite benign in the past couple of years. However, our estimates suggest that persistent cross-country differences in wage and labour cost developments have not always reflected warranted adjustment needs; they are rather indicative of an eventually insufficient degree of nominal and real wage flexibility in the euro area.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Springer in its journal International Economics and Economic Policy.

Volume (Year): 4 (2007)
Issue (Month): 3 (November)
Pages: 299-328

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Handle: RePEc:kap:iecepo:v:4:y:2007:i:3:p:299-328

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Web page: http://www.springerlink.com/link.asp?id=111059

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Keywords: E24; J30; J50;

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Peeters, Marga & Den Reijer, Ard, 2011. "On wage formation, wage flexibility and wage coordination : A focus on the wage impact of productivity in Germany, Greece, Ireland, Portugal, Spain and the United States," MPRA Paper 31102, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Bertola, Giuseppe, 2008. "Labour Markets in EMU - What has Changed and What Needs to Change," CEPR Discussion Papers 7049, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Sotirios Theodoropoulos, 2011. "A Wage Policy for External Balance and Employment in EMU Environment: A Theoretical Approach," SPOUDAI Journal of Economics and Business, SPOUDAI Journal of Economics and Business, University of Piraeus, vol. 61(3-4), pages 85-102, July - De.
  4. João Rebelo Barbosa & Rui Henrique Alves, 2011. "The Euro Area Ten Years after Its Creation: (Divergent) Competitiveness and the Optimum Currency Area Theory," Panoeconomicus, Savez ekonomista Vojvodine, Novi Sad, Serbia, vol. 58(5), pages 605-629, December.
  5. Biroli, Pietro & Mourre, Gilles & Turrini, Alessandro Antonio, 2010. "Adjustment in the Euro Area and Regulation of Product and Labour Markets: An Empirical Assessment," CEPR Discussion Papers 8010, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Torben Andersen & Martin Seneca, 2010. "Labour Market Asymmetries in a Monetary Union," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 21(4), pages 483-514, September.
  7. Marzinotto Benedicta, 2008. "Why so much wage restraint in EMU? The role of country size - Integrating trade theory with monetary policy regime accounts," wp.comunite 0035, Department of Communication, University of Teramo.
  8. Romain Duval & Lukas Vogel, 2012. "How Do Nominal and Real Rigidities Interact? A Tale of the Second Best," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 44(7), pages 1455-1474, October.
  9. Kai Carstensen & Oliver Hülsewig & Timo Wollmershäuser, 2009. "Price Dispersion in the Euro Area: The Case of a Symmetric Oil Price Shock," CESifo Working Paper Series 2718, CESifo Group Munich.
  10. Romain Duval & Lukas Vogel, 2008. "Oil Price Shocks, Rigidities and the Conduct of Monetary Policy: Some Lessons from a New Keynesian Perspective," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 603, OECD Publishing.
  11. Girardi, Riccardo & Paruolo, Paolo, 2013. "Wages and prices in Europe before and after the onset of the Monetary Union," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 35(C), pages 643-653.
  12. Constantinos Alexiou & Joseph Nellis, 2012. "Is the ‘EURO’ a Defunct Currency?," International Journal of Economics and Financial Issues, Econjournals, vol. 2(3), pages 296-303.
  13. João Rebelo Barbosa & Rui Henrique Alves, 2011. "Divergent competitiveness in the eurozone and the optimum currency area theory," FEP Working Papers 436, Universidade do Porto, Faculdade de Economia do Porto.
  14. Alexandre Janiak, 2008. "Mobility in Europe - Why it is low, the bottlenecks, and the policy solutions," European Economy - Economic Papers 340, Directorate General Economic and Monetary Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.
  15. Jan Babecky & Kamil Dybczak, 2012. "Real Wage Flexibility in the European Union: New Evidence from the Labour Cost Data," Working Papers 2012/01, Czech National Bank, Research Department.
  16. Lieb Lenard, 2009. "Taking Real Rigidities Seriously: Implications for Optimal Policy Design in a Currency Union," Research Memorandum 032, Maastricht University, Maastricht Research School of Economics of Technology and Organization (METEOR).

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