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The Effect of Collective Bargaining and Central Bank Independence on Inflation and Unemployment: Evidence From the OECD

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  • Chou, Y.K.
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    Abstract

    In this paper, panel data from 15 OECD countries (1971-1990) are used to test the hypothesis that differences in monetary and labour market institutions explain a significant portion of the surprisingly diverse inflation and unemployment experiences among similarly developed economies. As an alternative to the measures of centralization of wage bargaining and corporatism used in previous studies, a Hefindahl index of union concentration is used as a proxy for the degree of coordination failure extant in wage setting. Additional explanatory variables used include union density, union coverage and the level of wage bargaining. We observe that inflation has a hump-shaped relationship with central bank independence and union density, as well as a negative relationship with union concentration, while unemployment has a U-shaped relationship with union density, and a hump-shaped relationship with union concentration and central bank independence. These findings are largely robust to the use of alternative estimators and assumptions on the structure of the error term. Further results are obtained from stratifying the sample by central bank independence and union concentration. These are then compared with the contrasting predictions of two recent theoretical models. Finally, we show that high union concentration is associated with smaller deviations of actual inflation rates from predicted rates in the aftermath of the 1973-74 OPEC price shock.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by The University of Melbourne in its series Department of Economics - Working Papers Series with number 770.

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    Length: 60 pages
    Date of creation: 2000
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    Handle: RePEc:mlb:wpaper:770

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    Keywords: BANKS ; INFLATION ; WAGES ; LABOUR MARKET;

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    References

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    1. Robert J. Flanagan, 1999. "Macroeconomic Performance and Collective Bargaining: An International Perspective," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(3), pages 1150-1175, September.
    2. 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, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(4), pages 589-610, August.
    3. Layard, Richard & Nickell, Stephen & Jackman, Richard, 2005. "Unemployment: Macroeconomic Performance and the Labour Market," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, Oxford University Press, number 9780199279173, October.
    4. Nickell, Stephen & Layard, Richard, 1999. "Labor market institutions and economic performance," Handbook of Labor Economics, Elsevier, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 46, pages 3029-3084 Elsevier.
    5. Fuller, Wayne A. & Battese, George E., 1974. "Estimation of linear models with crossed-error structure," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 2(1), pages 67-78, May.
    6. Rogoff, Kenneth, 1985. "The Optimal Degree of Commitment to an Intermediate Monetary Target," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 100(4), pages 1169-89, November.
    7. Hsiao,Cheng, 2003. "Analysis of Panel Data," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521522717, 9.
    8. 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.
    9. Cubitt, Robin P, 1995. " Corporatism, Monetary Policy and Macroeconomic Performance: A Simple Game Theoretic Analysis," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 97(2), pages 245-59, June.
    10. Soskice, David, 1990. "Wage Determination: The Changing Role of Institutions in Advanced Industrialized Countries," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 6(4), pages 36-61, Winter.
    11. Cukierman, A. & Lippi, F., 1998. "Central Bank Independence, Centralization of Wage Bargaining, Inflation and Unemployment - Theory and Some Evidence," Discussion Paper, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research 1998-116, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
    12. Bean, Charles R., 1994. "European unemployment: A retrospective," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 38(3-4), pages 523-534, April.
    13. Newell, A. & Symons, J. S. V., 1987. "Corporatism, laissez-faire and the rise in unemployment," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 567-601, April.
    14. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1977. "Rules Rather Than Discretion: The Inconsistency of Optimal Plans," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(3), pages 473-91, June.
    15. Marta Campillo & Jeffrey A. Miron, 1996. "Why Does Inflation Differ Across Countries?," NBER Working Papers 5540, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    16. Cukierman, Alex & Webb, Steven B & Neyapti, Bilin, 1992. "Measuring the Independence of Central Banks and Its Effect on Policy Outcomes," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, World Bank Group, vol. 6(3), pages 353-98, September.
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    Cited by:
    1. Chou, Y.K., 2001. "The Impact of Central Bank Independence and Union Concentration on Macroeconomic Perfromance in the Presence of Aggregate Supply Shocks. Evidence from 10 OECD Countries (1971-85)," Department of Economics - Working Papers Series, The University of Melbourne 805, The University of Melbourne.
    2. Christopher Bowdler & Luca Nunziata, 2005. "Trade union density and inflation performance: evidence from OECD panel data," "Marco Fanno" Working Papers 0009, Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche "Marco Fanno".
    3. Cavallero, Alessandro, 2011. "The convergence of inflation rates in the EU-12 area: A distribution dynamics approach," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 341-357, June.

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