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Wage flexibility in the new European Union members: How different from the old?

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  • VAN POECK, André
  • VEINER, Maret

Abstract

In this paper we provide new evidence on aggregate labour market flexibility in the four largest new EU member states from Central Europe (CEEC4) and a benchmark of existing EU countries (EU9). This is done trough direct comparison of several labour market institutions from which we derive an institutional summary indicator. Another approach that we follow is the estimation of aggregate wage Phillips curves from which we obtain estimates for the wage responsiveness to unemployment in these countries. The results show that the CEEC4 cannot be regarded as an homogeneous group. The Czech Republic and Hungary are relatively flexible and comparable to the United Kingdom. Poland belongs to a subgroup with France, Germany and Italy, with reduced labour market flexibility. The results are especially problematic for the Slovak Republic where aggregate wages do not respond to unemployment, although labour market institutions are still more supportive to flexibility than in most incumbent EU countries.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Antwerp, Faculty of Applied Economics in its series Working Papers with number 2007016.

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Length: 31 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ant:wpaper:2007016

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Postal: Prinsstraat 13, B-2000 Antwerpen
Web page: https://www.uantwerp.be/en/faculties/applied-economic-sciences/
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  1. Olivier Jean Blanchard & Lawrence Katz, 1999. "Wage Dynamics: Reconciling Theory and Evidence," NBER Working Papers 6924, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Huitfeldt, Henrik, 2001. "Unemployment, Labour Market Programmes and Wage Determination: Evidence from the Czech and Slovak Republics," Working Paper Series 2001:1, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
  3. Ian Babetskii, 2007. "Aggregate Wage Flexibility in Selected New EU Member States," CESifo Working Paper Series 1916, CESifo Group Munich.
  4. Nicola Brandt & Jean-Marc Burniaux & Romain Duval, 2005. "Assessing the OECD Jobs Strategy: Past Developments and Reforms," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 429, OECD Publishing.
  5. Blanchflower, David G., 2001. "Unemployment, Well-Being, and Wage Curves in Eastern and Central Europe," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 15(4), pages 364-402, December.
  6. Friedrich Schneider & Christopher Bajada, 2003. "The Size and Development of the Shadow Economies in the Asia-Pacific," Economics working papers 2003-01, Department of Economics, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
  7. Olivier Blanchard & Justin Wolfers, 1999. "The Role of Shocks and Institutions in the Rise of European Unemployment: The Aggregate Evidence," NBER Working Papers 7282, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. International Monetary Fund, 2005. "Wage Flexibility in Turbulent Times," IMF Working Papers 05/134, International Monetary Fund.
  9. Huitfeldt, H., 2001. "Unemployment, Labour Market Programmes and Wage Determination: Evidence from the Czech and Slovak Republics," Papers 2001:01, Uppsala - Working Paper Series.
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