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Wage Rigidity and Monetary Union

  • Harris Dellas

    (University of Bern, Department of Economics, CEPR and IMOP)

  • George Tavlas


    (Bank of Greece, Economic Research Department)

We compare monetary union to flexible exchange rates in an asymmetric, threecountry model with active monetary policy. Unlike the traditional OCA literature, we find that countries with a high degree of nominal wage rigidity benefit from monetary union, specially when they join other, similarly rigid countries. Countries with relatively more flexible wages tend to be worse off in unions with countries that have more rigid wages. We examine France, Germany and the UK and find that the welfare implications of alternative monetary arrangements depend more on the degree of wage asymmetry than on other types of asymmetries (in shocks, monetary policy etc.). And that, higher degree of wage flexibility in the UK relative to France and Germany would make its participation in EMU costly.

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Paper provided by Bank of Greece in its series Working Papers with number 12.

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Length: 34 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2004
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in The Economic Journal, 2005, 115 (506), pp. 907-927.
Handle: RePEc:bog:wpaper:12
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  1. Michael Devereux & Charles Engel, 2000. "Monetary Policy in the Open Economy Revisited: Price Setting and Exchange Rate Flexibiity," Discussion Papers in Economics at the University of Washington 0016, Department of Economics at the University of Washington.
  2. Collard, Fabrice & Dellas, Harris, 2001. "Exchange Rate Systems and Macroeconomic Stability," CEPR Discussion Papers 2768, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  8. David Backus & Patrick J. Kehoe & Finn E. Kydland, 1993. "International Business Cycles: Theory and Evidence," NBER Working Papers 4493, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Benigno, Gianluca & Benigno, Pierpaolo, 2001. "Monetary Policy Rules and the Exchange Rate," CEPR Discussion Papers 2807, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. V. V. Chari & Patrick J. Kehoe & Ellen R. McGrattan, 1997. "Monetary Shocks and Real Exchange Rates in Sticky Price Models of International Business Cycles," NBER Working Papers 5876, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Charles L. Evans, 2001. "Nominal rigidities and the dynamic effects of a shock to monetary policy," Working Paper 0107, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
  12. Hughes Hallett, Andrew & Jensen, Svend E. Hougaard, 2001. "Currency unions and the incentive to reform: are market mechanisms enough?," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 12(2), pages 139-155, July.
  13. Clarida, Richard & Gali, Jordi & Gertler, Mark, 2002. "A simple framework for international monetary policy analysis," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(5), pages 879-904, July.
  14. Devereux, Michael B & Engel, Charles M, 2000. "Monetary Policy In The Open Economy Revisited: Price Setting Rules And Exchange Rate Flexibility," CEPR Discussion Papers 2454, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  15. Robert G. King, 2000. "The new IS-LM model : language, logic, and limits," Economic Quarterly, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, issue Sum, pages 45-103.
  16. Stephen Nickell, 1997. "Unemployment and Labor Market Rigidities: Europe versus North America," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(3), pages 55-74, Summer.
  17. Obstfeld, Maurice & Rogoff, Kenneth, 2001. "Global Implications of Self-Orientated National Monetary Rules," CEPR Discussion Papers 2856, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  18. Dellas, Harris, 2006. "Monetary policy in open economies," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 50(6), pages 1471-1486, August.
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