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Labor Markets and Monetary Union; a Strategic Analysis

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Author Info

  • Alex Cukierman

    (Tel Aviv University and CentER, Tilburg University)

  • Francesco Lippi

    ()
    (Bank of Italy, Research Department and CEPR)

Abstract

This paper analyzes the macroeconomic consequences of the establishment of a monetary union in the presence of unionized labor markets. It is shown that the effects of the formation of a monetary union depend on several labor market features, such as the degree of centralization of wage bargaining, labor unions' inflation aversion and the degree of substitutability between the labor of different unions. In particular, the switch from national monetary policies to a unified monetary policy usually affects both inflation and unemployment, even when all structural parameters of the economy and of unions' and policymakers' preferences remain the same. The benchmark case of a monetary union between identical countries suggests that the switch to a monetary union is likely to make labor unions more aggressive, increasing unemployment. Qualifications to this result are provided and their robustness is investigated under alternative structural assumptions, like crosscountry asymmetries, (preunion) ERM membership and wage leadership.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area in its series Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) with number 365.

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Date of creation: Feb 2000
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Handle: RePEc:bdi:wptemi:td_365_00

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Web page: http://www.bancaditalia.it
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  1. Francesco Lippi, 2003. "Strategic Monetary Policy with Non-Atomistic Wage Setters," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 70(4), pages 909-919.
  2. Michael C. Burda, 2001. "European Labour Markets and the Euro: How Much Flexibility Do We Really Need?," Economics Working Papers 003, European Network of Economic Policy Research Institutes.
  3. Barro, Robert J & Gordon, David B, 1983. "A Positive Theory of Monetary Policy in a Natural Rate Model," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(4), pages 589-610, August.
  4. Dixit, Avinash K & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1977. "Monopolistic Competition and Optimum Product Diversity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(3), pages 297-308, June.
  5. Rogoff, Kenneth, 1985. "The Optimal Degree of Commitment to an Intermediate Monetary Target," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 100(4), pages 1169-89, November.
  6. Stephen Nickell, 1997. "Unemployment and Labor Market Rigidities: Europe versus North America," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(3), pages 55-74, Summer.
  7. Skott, Peter, 1997. "Stagflationary Consequences of Prudent Monetary Policy in a Unionized Economy," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 49(4), pages 609-22, October.
  8. Gruner, Hans Peter & Hefeker, Carsten, 1999. " How Will EMU Affect Inflation and Unemployment in Europe?," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 101(1), pages 33-47, March.
  9. Henrik Jensen, 1993. "International monetary policy cooperation in economies with centralized wage setting," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 4(3), pages 269-285, September.
  10. Cukierman, Alex & Lippi, Francesco, 1999. "Central bank independence, centralization of wage bargaining, inflation and unemployment:: Theory and some evidence," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 43(7), pages 1395-1434, June.
  11. Calmfore, L., 1993. "Centralization of Wage Bargaining and Macroeconomic Performance - A Survey," Papers 536, Stockholm - International Economic Studies.
  12. Agell, Jonas & Ysander, Bengt-Christer, 1993. "Should Governments Learn to Live with Inflation? Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(1), pages 305-11, March.
  13. Gylfason, Thorvaldur & Lindbeck, Assar, 1991. "The Interaction of Monetary Policy and Wages," CEPR Discussion Papers 551, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  14. repec:wop:humbsf:1999-41 is not listed on IDEAS
  15. Lippi, Francesco, 1999. "Strategic Monetary Policy with Non-Atomistic Wage Setters: A Case for Non-Neutrality," CEPR Discussion Papers 2218, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  16. Sibert, Anne & Sutherland, Alan, 2000. "Monetary union and labor market reform," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 421-435, August.
  17. Jensen, Henrik, 1997. " Monetary Policy Cooperation May Not Be Counterproductive," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 99(1), pages 73-80, March.
  18. Oswald, Andrew J, 1982. "The Microeconomic Theory of the Trade Union," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 92(367), pages 576-95, September.
  19. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1977. "Rules Rather Than Discretion: The Inconsistency of Optimal Plans," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(3), pages 473-91, June.
  20. Cubitt, Robin P, 1992. "Monetary Policy Games and Private Sector Precommitment," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 44(3), pages 513-30, July.
  21. Guzzo, Vincenzo & Velasco, Andres, 1999. "The case for a populist Central Banker," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 43(7), pages 1317-1344, June.
  22. Bean, Charles R., 1994. "European unemployment: A retrospective," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 38(3-4), pages 523-534, April.
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