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Labour Markets and Monetary Union: A Strategic Analysis

  • Cukierman, Alex
  • Lippi, Francesco

This paper analyzes the macroeconomic consequences of the establishment of a monetary union in the presence of unionized labour markets. It is shown that the effects of the formation of a monetary union depend on several labour market features, such as the degree of centralization of wage bargaining, labour unions' inflation aversion and the degree of substitutability between the labour of different unions. In particular, the switch from national monetary policies to a unified monetary policy usually affects both inflation and unemployment, even when all structural parameters of the economy and of unions' and policy makers' preferences remain the same. The benchmark case of a monetary union between identical countries suggests that the switch to a monetary union is likely to make labor uur unions more aggressive, increasing unemployment. Qualifications to this result are provided and their robustness is investigated under alternative structural assumptions, like cross-country asymmetries, (pre-union) ERM membership and wage leadership.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 2236.

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Date of creation: Sep 1999
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:2236
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  1. Dixit, Avinash K & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1977. "Monopolistic Competition and Optimum Product Diversity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(3), pages 297-308, June.
  2. Gylfason, Thorvaldur & Lindbeck, Assar, 1994. " The Interaction of Monetary Policy and Wages," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 79(1-2), pages 33-46, April.
  3. Henrik Jensen, 1993. "International monetary policy cooperation in economies with centralized wage setting," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 4(3), pages 269-285, September.
  4. Bean, Charles R., 1994. "European unemployment: A retrospective," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 38(3-4), pages 523-534, April.
  5. 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.
  6. Guzzo, Vincenzo & Velasco, Andres, 1999. "The case for a populist Central Banker," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 43(7), pages 1317-1344, June.
  7. Barro, Robert J & Gordon, David B, 1983. "A Positive Theory of Monetary Policy in a Natural Rate Model," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(4), pages 589-610, August.
  8. Gruner, Hans Peter & Hefeker, Carsten, 1999. " How Will EMU Affect Inflation and Unemployment in Europe?," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 101(1), pages 33-47, March.
  9. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1977. "Rules Rather Than Discretion: The Inconsistency of Optimal Plans," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(3), pages 473-91, June.
  10. Sibert, Anne & Sutherland, Alan, 2000. "Monetary union and labor market reform," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 421-435, August.
  11. Oswald, Andrew J, 1982. "The Microeconomic Theory of the Trade Union," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 92(367), pages 576-95, September.
  12. Cubitt, Robin P, 1992. "Monetary Policy Games and Private Sector Precommitment," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 44(3), pages 513-30, July.
  13. Jensen, Henrik, 1997. " Monetary Policy Cooperation May Not Be Counterproductive," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 99(1), pages 73-80, March.
  14. Lippi, Francesco, 1999. "Strategic Monetary Policy with Non-Atomistic Wage Setters: A Case for Non-Neutrality," CEPR Discussion Papers 2218, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  15. Skott, Peter, 1997. "Stagflationary Consequences of Prudent Monetary Policy in a Unionized Economy," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 49(4), pages 609-22, October.
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