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Asymétries, ajustements et relations salariales dans l'Union européenne

Listed author(s):
  • Jacques Mazier
  • Sophie Saglio

[fre] Asymmetries, Adjustment and Wage Relations in the European Union Since the euro was launched, divergences in European economies' evolutions have been more significant than generally expected. This new ment has once more brought to the fore two traditional questions related to the functioning of a Monetary Union, i.e. the role played by relative-price adjustment mechanisms and the difficulties inherent in asymmetric evolutions. In order to give a comprehensive appreciation of these questions, this paper will be based on a multinational macroeconomic model describing the interdependence between 14 European countries and allowing the simulation of asymmetric/symmetric demand or supply shocks. The efficiency of relative-price adjustment mechanisms seems limited and, even in the most flexible countries, the return to equilibrium is slow and still incomplete after 10 years. However, the differences in adjustment mechanisms, which can be explained on account of each member country's structural characteristics, remain a source of asymmetries between the member countries of the European Union. Extra-European exchanges have a stabilizing role which is uneven between one country and another on account of its openness degree and the value of price elasticities. Several lessons can be drawn from those results in terms of fiscal policy and wage policy. Lastly, as a consequence of a better perception of the transformation of the monetary regime, deep changes are likely to occur concerning wage relations. Increased pressures may affect wages and employment, mainly in northern European countries wanting to preserve their competitiveness. According to another logic, when comparing their wages in euros, workers in the countries with the lowest salaries may be led to claim -and obtain- wage increases in exchange for productivity gains. Three models are proposed to explore the outcome of such a logic for northern and southern European countries. It is possible to speak of a nominal convergence of prices and wages, but without real convergence.

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Article provided by Programme National Persée in its journal Revue française d'économie.

Volume (Year): 19 (2004)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 37-76

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Handle: RePEc:prs:rfreco:rfeco_0769-0479_2004_num_19_1_1541
Note: DOI:10.3406/rfeco.2004.1541
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