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The synchronization of wage dynamics across EMU members. A test of the endogeneity hypothesis


  • Herbert Buscher


  • Hubert Gabrisch



We test the hypothesis of an endogenous currency area for the labor market of the Euro area: has the introduction of a common currency caused wage dynamics to become more synchronized and to be able to cushion for asymmetric shocks? Trade intensity, sector specialization and financial integration are tested for being the driving forces for the endogenous synchronization of wage dynamics. We use regression techniques with instrument variables, and find evidence of persistent asymmetries in nominal wage formation, despite a single currency and monetary policy. We explain the result with more specialization following financial integration, and with still existing differences in wage formation and labor market institutions. We conclude that the euro zone is not endogenous with respect to wage formation. Rather, there are incentives for beggar-thy-neighbor policies in the Euro area. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media, LLC. 2012

Suggested Citation

  • Herbert Buscher & Hubert Gabrisch, 2012. "The synchronization of wage dynamics across EMU members. A test of the endogeneity hypothesis," Empirica, Springer;Austrian Institute for Economic Research;Austrian Economic Association, vol. 39(3), pages 327-340, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:empiri:v:39:y:2012:i:3:p:327-340 DOI: 10.1007/s10663-011-9170-7

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Frankel, Jeffrey A & Rose, Andrew K, 1998. "The Endogeneity of the Optimum Currency Area Criteria," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 108(449), pages 1009-1025, July.
    2. Buscher, Herbert S. & Gabrisch, Hubert, 2009. "Is the European Monetary Union an Endogenous Currency Area? The Example of the Labor Markets," IWH Discussion Papers 7/2009, Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH).
    3. Jean Imbs, 2004. "Trade, Finance, Specialization, and Synchronization," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(3), pages 723-734, August.
    4. Lars Calmfors, 2001. "Wages and Wage-Bargaining Institutions in the Emu : A Survey of the Issues," CESifo Working Paper Series 520, CESifo Group Munich.
    5. Stefano Schiavo, 2008. "Financial Integration, GDP Correlation and the Endogeneity of Optimum Currency Areas," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 75(297), pages 168-189, February.
    6. Glenn Otto & Graham Voss & Luke Willard, 2001. "Understanding OECD Output Correlations," RBA Research Discussion Papers rdp2001-05, Reserve Bank of Australia.
    7. Jakob de Haan & Robert Inklaar & Richard Jong-A-Pin, 2008. "Will Business Cycles In The Euro Area Converge? A Critical Survey Of Empirical Research," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 22(2), pages 234-273, April.
    8. Lars Calmfors, 2001. "Wages and Wage-Bargaining Institutions in the EMU – A Survey of the Issues," Empirica, Springer;Austrian Institute for Economic Research;Austrian Economic Association, vol. 28(4), pages 325-351, December.
    9. Dean Baker & Andrew Glyn & David Howell & John Schmitt, 2002. "Labor Market Institutions and Unemployment: A Critical Assessment of the Cross-Country Evidence," SCEPA working paper series. SCEPA's main areas of research are macroeconomic policy, inequality and poverty, and globalization. 2002-17, Schwartz Center for Economic Policy Analysis (SCEPA), The New School.
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    11. François Mann-Quirici, 2005. "The endogeneity of optimum currency area criteria – lessons from history for European monetary union," Journal of Economic Studies, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 32(5), pages 387-405, October.
    12. Eichengreen, B., 1992. "Should the Maastricht Treaty be Saved?," Princeton Studies in International Economics 74, International Economics Section, Departement of Economics Princeton University,.
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    Cited by:

    1. Handler, Heinz, 2013. "The eurozone: piecemeal approach to an optimum currency area," MPRA Paper 67183, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Hubert Gabrisch, 2011. "A Macroeconomist’s View on EU Governance Reform: Why and How to Establish Policy Coordination?," Economic Annals, Faculty of Economics, University of Belgrade, vol. 56(191), pages 69-88, October-D.
    3. Petr Rozmahel & Ladislava Grochová & Marek Litzman, 2014. "The effect of asymmetries in fiscal policy conducts on business cycle correlation in the EU," WWWforEurope Working Papers series 62, WWWforEurope.
    4. Sofia Gouveia & Leonida Correia, 2013. "Labour costs dynamics in the Euro area: some empirical evidence," International Economics and Economic Policy, Springer, vol. 10(3), pages 323-347, September.

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    Labour markets; EMU; OCA;


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