Wage Flexibility or Wage Coordination? Economic Policy Implications of the Wage-Led Demand Regime in the Euro Area
AbstractWage shares have fallen substantially in Europe since the early 1980s. To some extent this is due to a macroeconomic policy package that encourages wage flexibility and wage competition. A system of wage coordination in the Euro area would facility a return to a productivity-oriented wage policy by reducing wage competition. In a recent study on the demand effects of changes in functional income distribution Stockhammer, Onaran und Ederer (2007) find that the Euro area is in a wage-led demand regime. According to their results a reduction of the wage share by 1%-point leads to a reduction of demand by around 0.2%-points of GDP. This finding has far reaching implications for economic policy. A stable wage share would help stabilize demand. The paper aims, first, at clarifying some conceptual issues in the design of a European system of productivity-oriented wage coordination and, second, it discusses the economic policy implications of wage coordination. The present policy package assigns wages the role of a shock absorber. However, as wage reductions do have negative demand effects in a wage-led demand regime, this policy has a deflationary bias. A system of wage coordination will thus have to be complemented by a more active nation fiscal policies and more fiscal redistribution within the EU. If so a regime of productivity oriented wage coordination will help to stabilize demand and it is consistent with price stability. �
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Political Economy Research Institute, University of Massachusetts at Amherst in its series Working Papers with number wp160.
Date of creation: 2008
Date of revision:
macroeconomics; economic policy; policy mix; wage coordination; European Union;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- E20 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomics: Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - General (includes Measurement and Data)
- E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomics: Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution
- E50 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - General
- E60 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - General
- J30 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - General
- J50 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining - - - General
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2008-05-10 (All new papers)
- NEP-EEC-2008-05-10 (European Economics)
- NEP-LAB-2008-05-10 (Labour Economics)
- NEP-MAC-2008-05-10 (Macroeconomics)
- NEP-PKE-2008-05-10 (Post Keynesian Economics)
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- 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.
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