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Wage-led growth: theory, evidence, policy

Author

Listed:
  • Engelbert Stockhammer

    (Kingston University)

  • Ozlem Onaran

    (University of Greenwich)

Abstract

The paper provides an overview of the concept of wage-led growth, both as an analytical concept and as an economic policy strategy. At the core of our analysis is the distinction between wage-led and profit-led demand regimes. The Kaleckian tradition in macroeconomics asserts that a higher wage share will have expansionary effects. Bhaduri and Marglin (1990) generalize the model by allowing for classical mechanisms. The paper presents a two-country short run model to clarify the key concepts surrounding a wage-led vs a profit-led demand regime. It distinguishes carefully between partial and total effects and it analyses demand regimes with respect to national as well as international changes in the wage share. We also review the empirical literature. Our reading is that the available evidence indicates that demand in most economies is domestically wage-led. Changes in functional income distribution also have supply-side effects. Available evidence suggests that higher wage growth induces higher productivity growth. Neoliberalism resulted in an increase in inequality and a decline in the wage share, but growth has nowhere been based on the profit-led growth process. Rather neoliberalism has given rise to either debt-led or export-led growth regimes. The paper concludes by outlining a wage-led growth strategy and by discussing its limitations.

Suggested Citation

  • Engelbert Stockhammer & Ozlem Onaran, 2013. "Wage-led growth: theory, evidence, policy," Review of Keynesian Economics, Edward Elgar Publishing, vol. 1(1), pages 61-78, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:elg:rokejn:v:1:y:2013:i:1:p61-78
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Soon Ryoo, 2016. "Inequality of Income and Wealth in the Long Run: A Kaldorian Perspective," Metroeconomica, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 67(2), pages 429-457, May.
    2. Riccardo Pariboni, 2015. "Autonomous demand and the Marglin-Bhaduri model: a critical note," Department of Economics University of Siena 715, Department of Economics, University of Siena.
    3. Anthony J Laramie & Douglas Mair, 2013. "Fiscal policy: Its role in an independent Scotland," Working Papers PKWP1307, Post Keynesian Economics Study Group (PKSG).
    4. Eckhard Hein, 2016. "Secular stagnation or stagnation policy? Steindl after Summers," PSL Quarterly Review, Economia civile, vol. 69(276), pages 3-47.
    5. Francesca Gambarotto & Stefano Solari, 2015. "The peripheralization of Southern European capitalism within the EMU," Review of International Political Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 22(4), pages 788-812, August.
    6. Engelbert Stockhammer, 2015. "Wage-led versus profit-led demand: What have we learned? A Kalecki-Minsky view," Working Papers PKWP1512, Post Keynesian Economics Study Group (PKSG).
    7. Hein, Eckhard, 2016. "Post-Keynesian macroeconomics since the mid-1990s: Main developments," IPE Working Papers 75/2016, Berlin School of Economics and Law, Institute for International Political Economy (IPE).
    8. Eckhard Hein, 2015. "Causes and Consequences of the Financial Crisis and the Implications for a More Resilient Financial and Economic System: Synthesis of FESSUD Work Package 3," Working papers wpaper128, Financialisation, Economy, Society & Sustainable Development (FESSUD) Project.
    9. Hein, Eckhard, 2017. "Financialisation and tendencies towards stagnation: The role of macroeconomic regime changes in the course of and after the financial and economic crisis 2007-9," IPE Working Papers 90/2017, Berlin School of Economics and Law, Institute for International Political Economy (IPE).
    10. Correa, Romar, 2014. "Conflict in the wage-led growth model," Economics Discussion Papers 2014-41, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    11. Kemp-Benedict, Eric, 2014. "Shifting to a Green Economy: Lock-in, Path Dependence, and Policy Options," MPRA Paper 60175, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    12. Correa, Romar, 2015. "Conflict in the profit-led growth model," Economics - The Open-Access, Open-Assessment E-Journal, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW), vol. 9, pages 1-9.
    13. Hein, Eckhard, 2016. "Causes and consequences of the financial crisis and the implications for a more resilient financial and economic system," IPE Working Papers 61/2016, Berlin School of Economics and Law, Institute for International Political Economy (IPE).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    wage-led growth; income distribution; effective demand; neoliberalism; debt-led growth; export-led growth;

    JEL classification:

    • B50 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Current Heterodox Approaches - - - General
    • E12 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General Aggregative Models - - - Keynes; Keynesian; Post-Keynesian
    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • E25 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Aggregate Factor Income Distribution

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