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Wage moderation and labour productivity

Author

Listed:
  • Free Huizinga

    () (CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis)

  • Peter Broer

    (CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis)

Abstract

In the Dutch economic policy debate, wage moderation is widely considered as a key factor for achieving economic growth and low unemployment. However, some economists criticise the policy emphasis on wage moderation, claiming that high wages are needed to maintain structural labour productivity growth. This paper analyses the effects of a wage push on labour productivity within the framework of endogenous technological progress, endogenous technology adoption and insufficient competition. The conclusion is that a wage push raises labour productivity in the short run. However, this rise in labour productivity is temporary and inefficient. In the long run, a wage push may well harm labour productivity. The main message of the paper is that it is probably best not to use wage policy at all as a tool to influence productivity. As a tool against unemployment, however, it is very effective. These insights are applied in a review of the Dutch post-war productivity growth.

Suggested Citation

  • Free Huizinga & Peter Broer, 2004. "Wage moderation and labour productivity," CPB Discussion Paper 28, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpb:discus:28
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Caballero, Ricardo J. & Hammour, Mohamad L., 1998. "Jobless growth: appropriability, factor substitution, and unemployment," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 51-94, June.
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    3. Daron Acemoglu, 2002. "Directed Technical Change," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 69(4), pages 781-809.
    4. Daron Acemoglu, 2003. "Labor- And Capital-Augmenting Technical Change," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 1(1), pages 1-37, March.
    5. J. Bradford De Long, "undated". "`Liquidation' Cycles: Old-Fashioned Real Business Cycle Theory and the Great Depression," J. Bradford De Long's Working Papers _135, University of California at Berkeley, Economics Department.
    6. Ricardo J. Caballero & Mohamad L. Hammour, 1996. "On the Timing and Efficiency of Creative Destruction," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 111(3), pages 805-852.
    7. Donald A. Walker (ed.), 2000. "Equilibrium," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, volume 0, number 1585.
    8. Graafland, J.J. & Huizinga, F.H., 1998. "Taxes and benefits in a non-linear wage equation," MPRA Paper 21076, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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    Cited by:

    1. Machiel Dijk & Richard Nahuis & Daniel Waagmeester, 2006. "Does Public Service Broadcasting Serve The Public? The Future of Television in the Changing Media Landscape," De Economist, Springer, vol. 154(2), pages 251-276, June.
    2. Gelauff, George & Lejour, Arjan, 2006. "The new Lisbon Strategy: An estiamtion of the impact of reaching 5 Lisbon targets," MPRA Paper 16168, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Jurriaan Eggelte & Jos Jansen & Guido Schotten & Diederik Dicou, 2014. "Wage Development Considered," DNB Occasional Studies 1201, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
    4. George Gelauff & Arjan Lejour, 2006. "Five Lisbon highlights; the economic impact of reaching these targets," CPB Document 104, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
    5. Chantal Kegels & Michael Peneder & Henry van der Wiel, 2012. "Productivity Performance in Three Small European Countries: Austria, Belgium and the Netherlands," Chapters,in: Industrial Productivity in Europe, chapter 5 Edward Elgar Publishing.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J23 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Demand
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes

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