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Financial crisis and global imbalances: its labour market origins and the aftermath

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  • Pasquale Tridico

Abstract

The objective of this paper is to articulate how the 2007--09 economic crisis is rooted in the uneven income distribution and inequality caused by the current finance-led model of growth. The process of financialisation that took place in the 1980s in the USA and then in the European Union was coupled with labour flexibility, wage moderation and soaring profits. The flexibility agenda of the labour market and the end of wage increases, along with the contraction of indirect wages (i.e. public social expenditure), diminished workers' purchasing power. This was partly compensated with increased borrowing opportunities and the boom of credit consumption, all of which helped workers to maintain unstable consumption capacity. However, in the long term, unstable consumption patterns derived from precarious job creation, job instability and poor wages have weakened aggregate demand. Hence, labour market issues such as flexibility, uneven income distribution, poor wages and the financial crisis are two sides of the same coin. Both have a direct impact on the economic crisis and the current global imbalances. Copyright The Author 2012. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Cambridge Political Economy Society. All rights reserved., Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Pasquale Tridico, 2012. "Financial crisis and global imbalances: its labour market origins and the aftermath," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 36(1), pages 17-42.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:cambje:v:36:y:2012:i:1:p:17-42
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1093/cje/ber031
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:eee:dyncon:v:81:y:2017:i:c:p:187-215 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Xinhua Gu & Bihong Huang, 2014. "Does Inequality Lead to a Financial Crisis? Revisited," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 18(3), pages 502-516, August.
    3. Perugini, Cristiano & Hölscher, Jens & Collie, Simon, 2013. "Inequality, credit expansion and financial crises," MPRA Paper 51336, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Rémi Bazillier & Jérôme Hericourt, 2017. "The Circular Relationship Between Inequality, Leverage, And Financial Crises," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 31(2), pages 463-496, April.
    5. Gaetano Perone, 2017. "Produttività del lavoro, dinamica salariale e squilibri commerciali nei Paesi dell’Eurozona: un’analisi empirica," Working Papers 0028, ASTRIL - Associazione Studi e Ricerche Interdisciplinari sul Lavoro.
    6. Hwan-Joo Seo & Han Sung Kim & Young Soo Lee, 2015. "Globalization and Labor Demand Elasticities: Empirical Evidence from Nine OECD Countries," Korean Economic Review, Korean Economic Association, vol. 31, pages 413-439.
    7. Berardi, Simone & Tedeschi, Gabriele, 2017. "From banks' strategies to financial (in)stability," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 255-272.
    8. Rémi Bazillier & Jérôme Héricourt, 2014. "The Circular Relationship between Inequality, Leverage, and Financial Crises: Intertwined Mechanisms and Competing Evidence," Working Papers 2014-22, CEPII research center.
    9. Pasquale Tridico & Riccardo Pariboni, 2016. "Inequality, financialisation and economic decline," Departmental Working Papers of Economics - University 'Roma Tre' 0211, Department of Economics - University Roma Tre.
    10. Gkanoutas-Leventis, Angelos & Nesvetailova, Anastasia, 2015. "Financialisation, oil and the Great Recession," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 86(C), pages 891-902.
    11. Rémi Bazillier & Jérôme Héricourt & Samuel Ligonnière, 2017. "Structure of Income Inequality and Household Leverage: Theory and Cross-Country Evidence," Working Papers 2017-01, CEPII research center.
    12. Ilias Anthopoulos & Christos N.Pitelis, "undated". "The Nature, Performance, Economic Impact and Regulation of Investment Banking," Working papers wpaper137, Financialisation, Economy, Society & Sustainable Development (FESSUD) Project.
    13. Lissowska, Maria, 2014. "Welfare against growth gains in post-transition countries: What are the consequences for stability?," Economics - The Open-Access, Open-Assessment E-Journal, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW), vol. 8, pages 1-37.
    14. repec:eee:enepol:v:108:y:2017:i:c:p:12-20 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Pasquale Tridico, 2014. "Welfare models, inequality and economic performance during globalisation," Departmental Working Papers of Economics - University 'Roma Tre' 0191, Department of Economics - University Roma Tre.

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