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Monetary policy and wage bargaining in the EMU: restrictive ECB policies, high unemployment, nominal wage restraint and inflation above the target

  • Eckhard Hein

    ()

    (Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaftliches Institut (WSI) in der Hans Boeckler Stiftung, Düsseldorf (Germany))

Assessing the effects of monetary policy and wage bargaining on employment andinflation in the European Monetary Union (EMU), the first step sees development of a Post-Keynesian competitive claims model of inflation with endogenous money. In this model the NAIRU is considered to be a short-run limit to employment enforced by independent and conservative central banks. In the long run, however, the NAIRU will follow actual unemployment and is therefore also dependent on the forces determining aggregate demand, including monetary policies. But the NAIRU may also be reduced through effectively co-ordinated wage bargaining, as has been shown by institutional political economists. Applying these considerations to the economic performance of the EMU, different scenarios determined by wage bargainingcoordination and the European Central Bank's (ECB) monetary policies are developed. It is shown that the first phase of the EMU was dominated by uncoordinated wage bargaining across the EMU and an "anti-growth-bias" of theECB. Thus the euro area was plagued with nominal wage restraint, highunemployment and inflation above the ECB target. Economic performance will improve if the ECB abandons its asymmetric monetary strategy. This may be facilitated by a higher degree of effective wage bargaining co-ordination across the EMU.

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File URL: http://ojs.uniroma1.it/index.php/PSLQuarterlyReview/article/view/9913/9795
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Article provided by Banca Nazionale del Lavoro in its journal BNL Quarterly Review.

Volume (Year): 55 (2002)
Issue (Month): 222 ()
Pages: 299-337

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Handle: RePEc:psl:bnlaqr:2002:33
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