Assessing the impact of incomes policy: the Italian experience
Purpose – The Saint Valentine's Decree (1984) and the ensuing hard-fought referendum (1985), which reduced the automatisms of scala mobile, started a process of redefinition of wage fixing in Italy, which culminated with the final abolition of scala mobile (1992) and the approval of Protocollo d'intesa (1993). Since then, following new corporatist principles, a national system of centralised wage bargaining (concertazione) and so-called “institutional indexation” have governed the determination of wages. Does incomes policy generate greater coordination in the process of wage formation? Does it cause greater co-movement of wages, prices, labour productivity and unemployment? This paper aims to answer these questions with reference to one of the G8 economies. Design/methodology/approach – After testing for unit root each component by using the ADF, Phillips and Perron, DF-GLS and Zivot and Andrews statistics, the paper tests for co-integration the so-called WPYE model using different methods. The Engle and Granger approach is used to assess the impact of incomes policy on the speed of adjustment of real wages, productivity (and unemployment) to their equilibrium value, while the Gregory and Hansen procedure serves as a means to endogenously detect the presence of a regime shift. The paper estimates coefficients before and after the structural break. Findings – Incomes policy based on the 1993 Protocol has caused a regime shift in the process of wage determination. The long-run estimates of the WPYE model do not generate stationary residuals except when a dummy for 1993 is added. The share of wages over GDP reduces by about ten percentage points in the early 1990s and has stood at about 57 per cent since 1995. The link with productivity is close to one-to-one only before the break. The feedback mechanism, as measured by the coefficient of lagged residuals in short-run estimates, is increased from -0.46 in the pre-reform to -0.79 in the post-reform period, suggesting that incomes policy has increased real wage flexibility indeed. In recent years the link between real wages and (very low) labour productivity growth has weakened. In a sense, incomes policy has introduced a new form of (upward) wage rigidity. Last but not least, incomes policy has changed the correlation with the unemployment rate from positive to not statistically significant. Research limitations/implications – Future developments will focus on disentangling the impact of incomes policy vis-à-vis other policy interventions on WPYE and on unemployment. Practical implications – The analysis calls for a careful revision of the 1993 Protocol aimed at better protecting the purchasing power of real wages without losing control on inflation, and introducing growth-generating mechanisms. Originality/value – The paper studies the impact of incomes policy on WPYE and the Phillips curve by means of co-integration and structural break analysis. It proposes to interpret the effect of incomes policy on the Phillips curve as changing the coefficient of the error correction mechanism that leads real wages to their long-run equilibrium value.
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.
Volume (Year): 31 (2010)
Issue (Month): 7 (November)
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: http://www.emeraldinsight.com|
|Order Information:|| Postal: Emerald Group Publishing, Howard House, Wagon Lane, Bingley, BD16 1WA, UK|
Web: http://www.emeraldinsight.com/ijm.htm Email:
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.:
- Carlin, Wendy & Soskice, David, 2005. "Macroeconomics: Imperfections, Institutions, and Policies," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198776222, May.
- Eric Zivot & Donald W.K. Andrews, 1990.
"Further Evidence on the Great Crash, the Oil Price Shock, and the Unit Root Hypothesis,"
Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers
944, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
- Zivot, Eric & Andrews, Donald W K, 2002. "Further Evidence on the Great Crash, the Oil-Price Shock, and the Unit-Root Hypothesis," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 20(1), pages 25-44, January.
- Zivot, Eric & Andrews, Donald W K, 1992. "Further Evidence on the Great Crash, the Oil-Price Shock, and the Unit-Root Hypothesis," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 10(3), pages 251-70, July.
- Lucio Baccaro, 2000. "Centralized Collective Bargaining and the Problem of â€˜Complianceâ€™: Lessons from the Italian Experience," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 53(4), pages 579-601, July.
- Leonello Tronti, 2007. "The July Protocol and Economic Growth: The Chance Missed," AIEL Series in Labour Economics, in: Nicola Acocella & Riccardo Leoni (ed.), Social Pacts, Employment and Growth. A Reappraisal of Ezio Tarantelli’s Thought, edition 1, chapter 5, pages 69-95 AIEL - Associazione Italiana Economisti del Lavoro.
- Dolado, Juan J. & Jimeno, Juan F., 1997.
"The causes of Spanish unemployment: A structural VAR approach,"
European Economic Review,
Elsevier, vol. 41(7), pages 1281-1307, July.
- Juan J. Dolado & Juan F. Jimeno, . "The causes of Spanish unemployment: A structural VAR apporach," Working Papers 96-19, FEDEA.
- Giulio Piccirilli & Nicola ACOCELLA & Riccardo LEONI, 2008. "Social Pacts, Employment and Growth. A reappraisal of Ezio Tarantelli’s thought," Rivista Internazionale di Scienze Sociali, Vita e Pensiero, Pubblicazioni dell'Universita' Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, vol. 116(3), pages 365-372.
- Fabiani, Silvia & Locarno, Alberto & Oneto, Gian Paolo & Sestito, Paolo, 2001.
"The sources of unemployment fluctuations: an empirical application to the Italian case,"
Elsevier, vol. 8(2), pages 259-289, May.
- Fabiani, Silvia & Locarno, Alberto & Oneto, Giampaolo & Sestito, Paolo, 2000. "The sources of unemployment fluctuations: an empirical application to the Italian case," Working Paper Series 0029, European Central Bank.
- Olivier Blanchard, 2006.
"European unemployment: the evolution of facts and ideas,"
CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 21(45), pages 5-59, 01.
- Olivier Blanchard, 2005. "European Unemployment: The Evolution of Facts and Ideas," NBER Working Papers 11750, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Sergio DESTEFANIS & Giuseppe MASTROMATTEO & Giovanni VERGA, 2005. "Wages and Monetary Policy in Italy Before and After the Wage Agreements," Rivista Internazionale di Scienze Sociali, Vita e Pensiero, Pubblicazioni dell'Universita' Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, vol. 113(2), pages 289-318.
- Devicenti francesco & Maida Agata & Pacelli Lia, 2005.
"The Resurrection of the Italian Wage Curve,"
Department of Economics and Statistics Cognetti de Martiis. Working Papers
200502, University of Turin.
- Allan w. Gregory & Bruce E. Hansen, 1992.
"residual-Based Tests for Cointegration in Models with Regime Shifts,"
862, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
- Gregory, Allan W. & Hansen, Bruce E., 1996. "Residual-based tests for cointegration in models with regime shifts," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 70(1), pages 99-126, January.
- Gregory, A.W. & Hansen, B.E., 1992. "Residual-Based Tests for Cointegration in Models with Regime Shifts," RCER Working Papers 335, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
- Leonello Tronti, 2010. "The Italian productivity slow-down: the role of the bargaining model," International Journal of Manpower, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 31(7), pages 770-792, November.
- Pierse, R. G. & Snell, A. J., 1995. "Temporal aggregation and the power of tests for a unit root," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 65(2), pages 333-345, February.
- Acocella Nicola & Leoni Riccardo, 2010. "La riforma della contrattazione: redistribuzione perversa o produzione di reddito?," Rivista italiana degli economisti, Società editrice il Mulino, issue 2, pages 237-274.
- Whitney K. Newey & Kenneth D. West, 1994.
"Automatic Lag Selection in Covariance Matrix Estimation,"
Review of Economic Studies,
Oxford University Press, vol. 61(4), pages 631-653.
- Newey, W.K. & West, K.D., 1992. "Automatic Lag Selection in Covariance Matrix Estimation," Working papers 9220, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
- Kenneth D. West & Whitney K. Newey, 1995. "Automatic Lag Selection in Covariance Matrix Estimation," NBER Technical Working Papers 0144, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Pastore, Francesco, 1998.
"Le politiche salariali in una Unione Europea. Un'applicazione al caso italiano
[Wage policies in a Monetary Union. An Application to the case of Italy]," MPRA Paper 21182, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- 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.
- Bean, C R & Layard, P R G & Nickell, S J, 1986. "The Rise in Unemployment: A Multi-country Study," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 53(210(S)), pages S1-22, Supplemen.
- Alogoskoufis, George & Smith, Ron, 1991. " On Error Correction Models: Specification, Interpretation, Estimation," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 5(1), pages 97-128.
- Golinelli Roberto, 1998. "Fatti stilizzati e metodi econometrici "moderni": una rivisitazione della curva di Phillips per l'Italia (1951-1996)," Politica economica, Società editrice il Mulino, issue 3, pages 411-446.
- Mauro Costantini & Sergio de Nardis, 2007. "Estimates of Structural Changes in the Wage Equation:Some Evidence for Italy," ISAE Working Papers 86, ISTAT - Italian National Institute of Statistics - (Rome, ITALY).
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eme:ijmpps:v:31:y:2010:i:7:p:793-817. 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: (Virginia Chapman)
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.