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Inflation, minimum wage and other wages: an econometric study on French macroeconomic data

  • Yannick L'horty
  • Christophe Rault

This study examines the set of interdependences between the formation of wages, prices and the minimum wage (SMIC) through a vectorial error correction model estimated on French quarterly macroeconomic data covering the 1970-1/1999-4 period. Two periods are distinguished: the period of inflation rise from 1970 to 1981, which coincides with an important squeeze of the wage range, measured by the ratio of the minimum wage to the hourly wage rate; the period of disinflation since 1981, that has been concomitant with a stability of wage inequalities. Disinflation has hardly benefited the evolution of the SMIC which has always profited by price rises, in real and relative terms, which have become less strong. This evolution does not benefit any more on wage rises, when the interdependences between variables are taken into account. The SMIC seems however to have gained in efficiency as an instrument on wage disparity reduction. It rises are finally more persistent in real terms and relatively to the other salaries and have always as little inflationary impact on wages as on prices.

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Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Applied Economics.

Volume (Year): 36 (2004)
Issue (Month): 4 ()
Pages: 277-290

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Handle: RePEc:taf:applec:v:36:y:2004:i:4:p:277-290
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  1. Pesaran, M. H. & Shin, Y. & Smith, R. J., 1997. "Structural Analysis of Vector Error Correction Models with Exogenous I(1) Variables," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 9706, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  2. Kwiatkowski, D. & Phillips, P.C.B. & Schmidt, P., 1990. "Testing the Null Hypothesis of Stationarity Against the Alternative of Unit Root : How Sure are we that Economic Time Series have a Unit Root?," Papers 8905, Michigan State - Econometrics and Economic Theory.
  3. Stephen Machin & Alan Manning, 1992. "Minimum Wages," CEP Discussion Papers dp0080, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  4. Schmidt, Peter & Phillips, C B Peter, 1992. "LM Tests for a Unit Root in the Presence of Deterministic Trends," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 54(3), pages 257-87, August.
  5. Sims, Christopher A, 1972. "Money, Income, and Causality," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 62(4), pages 540-52, September.
  6. Graham Elliott & Thomas J. Rothenberg & James H. Stock, 1992. "Efficient Tests for an Autoregressive Unit Root," NBER Technical Working Papers 0130, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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