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Restrictive Macroeconomic Policies and Unemployment in the European Union

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  • Marc Lombard
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    Abstract

    This paper looks at the impact the European integration process has had on the unemployment level of European Union member countries. While the persistence of relatively high unemployment in Europe is often attributed to supply-side factors, such as the rigidities of the labour market, this study contends that the major cause for the rise of unemployment in the EU has been the very macroeconomic policies of the EU itself. The paper argues that the continuous pursuit of deflationary policies and the macroeconomic constraint imposed first by the membership of the European Monetary System and, secondly, by the convergence criteria of the Maastricht Treaty, have been the real impediments to reducing unemployment.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Review of Political Economy.

    Volume (Year): 12 (2000)
    Issue (Month): 3 ()
    Pages: 317-332

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    Handle: RePEc:taf:revpoe:v:12:y:2000:i:3:p:317-332

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    1. Eisner, Robert, 1989. "Divergences of Measurement and Theory and Some Implications for Economic Policy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(1), pages 1-13, March.
    2. Paul Krugman, 1994. "Past and prospective causes of high unemployment," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, issue Jan, pages 49-98.
    3. Vickrey, William, 1992. "Meaningfully Defining Deficits and Debt," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(2), pages 305-10, May.
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    Cited by:
    1. Eckhard Hein & Achim Truger, 2004. "Macroeconomic co-ordination as an economic policy concept – opportunities and obstacles in the EMU," Macroeconomics 0412007, EconWPA.
    2. Hein, Eckhard & Truger, Achim, 2005. "European Monetary Union: nominal convergence, real divergence and slow growth?," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 7-33, March.
    3. Eckhard Hein, 2002. "Monetary policy and wage bargaining in the EMU: restrictive ECB policies, high unemployment, nominal wage restraint and inflation above the target," BNL Quarterly Review, Banca Nazionale del Lavoro, vol. 55(222), pages 299-337.
    4. Binotti, Annetta Maria & Ghiani, Enrico, 2008. "Changes in aggregate supply conditions in Italy: A small econometric model and its policy implications," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 30(6), pages 1017-1039.
    5. Eckhard Hein & Achim Truger, 2005. "European Monetary Union: Nominal Convergence, Real Divergence and Slow Growth? An investigation into the effects of changing macroeconomic policy institutions associated with monetary union," Macroeconomics 0501011, EconWPA.
    6. Altman, Morris, 2006. "Involuntary unemployment, macroeconomic policy, and a behavioral model of the firm: Why high real wages need not cause high unemployment," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(2), pages 97-111, June.
    7. Baskaran, Thushyanthan, 2009. "Did the Maastricht treaty matter for macroeconomic performance?," MPRA Paper 30106, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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