Central bank independence, centralization of wage bargaining, inflation and unemployment:: Theory and some evidence
This paper proposes a conceptual framework to investigate the effects of central bank independence, of the degree of centralization of wage bargaining and of the interaction between those institutional variables, on real wages, unemployment and inflation, in a framework in which unions are averse to inflation. This aversion moderates unions wage demands as they attempt to induce the central bank to inflate at a lower rate. An increase in the degree of centralization of wage bargaining (a decrease in the number of unions) triggers two opposite effects on real wages, unemployment and inflation. It reduces the substitutability between the labor of different unions and therefore the degree of effective competition between them. This "reduced competition effect" raises real wages, unemployment and in°ation. But the decrease in the number of unions also strengthens the moderating effect of in°ationary fears on the real wage demands of each union. This "strategic effect" lowers real wages, unemployment and inflation. For sufficiently inflation averse unions the interaction between those two effects produces a Calmfors-Driffill type relation between real wages and centralization. The paper analyzes the effects of central bank independence on the position and the shape of this relation, as well as on inflation and unemployment. The paper features two mechanisms, one of which is novel, through which monetary institutions have real effects. The paper's framework implies that social welfare is maximized when the central bank is ultra liberal. This result is critically assessed. Empirical evaluation of some of the theoretical implications, using data from nineteen developed economies, is for the most part supportive of those implications.
(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- McDonald, Ian M & Solow, Robert M, 1981. "Wage Bargaining and Employment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(5), pages 896-908, December.
- Francesco Daveri & Guido Tabellini, .
"Unemployment, Growth and Taxation in Industrial Countries,"
122, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
- Francesco Daveri & Guido Tabellini, 2000. "Unemployment, growth and taxation in industrial countries," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 15(30), pages 47-104, 04.
- Daveri, Francesco & Tabellini, Guido, 1997. "Unemployment, Growth and Taxation in Industrial Countries," CEPR Discussion Papers 1681, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- 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.
- Robert J. Barro & David B. Gordon, 1981. "A Positive Theory of Monetary Policy in a Natural-Rate Model," NBER Working Papers 0807, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Alberto Alesina & Roberto Perotti, 1994.
"The Welfare State and Competitiveness,"
NBER Working Papers
4810, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Michael Bruno & Jeffrey D. Sachs, 1985. "Economics of Worldwide Stagflation," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number brun85-1, June.
- Guzzo, Vincenzo & Velasco, Andres, 1999. "The case for a populist Central Banker," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 43(7), pages 1317-1344, June.
- 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.
- Lohmann, Susanne, 1992. "Optimal Commitment in Monetary Policy: Credibility versus Flexibility," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(1), pages 273-86, March.
- 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.
- Bean, Charles R., 1994. "European unemployment: A retrospective," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 38(3-4), pages 523-534, April.
- Jensen, Henrik, 1997. " Monetary Policy Cooperation May Not Be Counterproductive," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 99(1), pages 73-80, March.
- Clark, Andrew, 1990.
"Efficient Bargains and the McDonald-Solow Conjecture,"
Journal of Labor Economics,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 8(4), pages 502-28, October.
- Clark, A., 1989. "Efficient Bargains And The Mcdonald-Solow Conjecture," Papers 350, London School of Economics - Centre for Labour Economics.
- 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.
- Cubitt, Robin P, 1992. "Monetary Policy Games and Private Sector Precommitment," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 44(3), pages 513-30, July.
- Bleaney, Michael, 1996. "Central Bank Independence, Wage-Bargaining Structure, and Macroeconomic Performance in OECD Countries," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 48(1), pages 20-38, January.
- Zervoyianni, Athina, 1997. "Monetary Policy Games and Coalitions in a Two-Country Model with Unionised Wage Setting," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 49(1), pages 57-76, January.
- 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.
- 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.
- Perotti, Roberto & Alesina, Alberto, 1997. "The Welfare State and Competitiveness," Scholarly Articles 4553027, Harvard University Department of Economics.
- Cukierman Alex, 1992.
"Central Bank Strategy, Credibility, And Independance: Theory And Evidence,"
Journal des Economistes et des Etudes Humaines,
De Gruyter, vol. 3(4), pages 10, December.
- Alex Cukierman, 1992. "Central Bank Strategy, Credibility, and Independence: Theory and Evidence," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262031981, June.
- McDonald, Ian M & Solow, Robert M, 1985. "Wages and Employment in a Segmented Labor Market," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 100(4), pages 1115-41, November.
- 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, vol. 6(3), pages 353-98, September.
- 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.
- 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.
- Lippi, Francesco, 1998. " On Central Bank Independence and the Stability of Policy Targets," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 100(2), pages 495-512, June.
- Gylfason, Thorvaldur & Lindbeck, Assar, 1991.
"The Interaction of Monetary Policy and Wages,"
CEPR Discussion Papers
551, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Oswald, Andrew J, 1982. "The Microeconomic Theory of the Trade Union," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 92(367), pages 576-95, September.
- Forteza, Alvaro, 1998. "The Wage Bargaining Structure and the Inflationary Bias," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 599-614, July.
- Rama, Martin, 1994. "Bargaining structure and economic performance in the open economy," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 403-415, February.
- Lars Calmfors, 1993. "Centralisation of Wage Bargaining and Macroeconomic Performance: A Survey," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 131, OECD Publishing.
- 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.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:eecrev:v:43:y:1999:i:7:p:1395-1434. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.