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Labour Market Reform and Monetary Policy in EMU: Do Asymmetries Matter?

  • Hughes Hallett, Andrew
  • Viegi, Nicola

This Paper analyses the interaction between a common monetary policy and differentiated labour market institutions. We develop a model of a two country monetary union. In each country, labour market institutions are distinguished by the degree of centralization in wage bargaining. In each country the government can also use an instrument (general taxation or payroll taxes) to influence their overall labour costs. Finally a common monetary policy is followed in a ‘conservative’ manner, as defined by Rogoff (1985). The results show that structural and preference asymmetries matter, both in the determination of economic policy and in performance. In particular centralized labour market institutions confer a certain comparative advantage in policy making which provides a natural incentive for the less flexible (or less reformed) to want to join a currency union; and for the more flexible to stay outside. This lowers the incentives for reform inside the union, as Calmfors and others have conjectured.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 2979.

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Date of creation: Sep 2001
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:2979
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  1. Guy Debelle & Stanley Fischer, 1994. "How independent should a central bank be?," Conference Series ; [Proceedings], Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, vol. 38, pages 195-225.
  2. 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.
  3. Henrik Jensen, . "Optimal Degrees of Tranaparency in Monetary Policymaking," EPRU Working Paper Series 01-01, Economic Policy Research Unit (EPRU), University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
  4. Demertzis, Maria & Hughes Hallett, Andrew & Viegi, Nicola, 2004. "An independent central bank faced with elected governments," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 20(4), pages 907-922, November.
  5. Frankel, Jeffrey A & Rose, Andrew K, 1996. "The Endogeneity of the Optimum Currency Area Criteria," CEPR Discussion Papers 1473, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Olivier Jean Blanchard & Lawrence Katz, 1999. "Wage Dynamics: Reconciling Theory and Evidence," NBER Working Papers 6924, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  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. Rogoff, Kenneth, 1985. "The Optimal Degree of Commitment to an Intermediate Monetary Target," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 100(4), pages 1169-89, November.
  9. Alan B. Krueger, 2000. "From Bismarck to Maastricht: The March to European Union and the Labor Compact," NBER Working Papers 7456, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Jean-Pierre DANTHINE & Jennifer HUNT, 1992. "Wage Bargaining Structure, Employment and Economic Integration," Cahiers de Recherches Economiques du Département d'Econométrie et d'Economie politique (DEEP) 9204, Université de Lausanne, Faculté des HEC, DEEP.
  11. Svensson, Lars E O, 1995. "Optimal Inflation Targets, 'Conservative' Central Banks, and Linear Inflation Contracts," CEPR Discussion Papers 1249, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  12. Alesina, Alberto & Gatti, Roberta, 1995. "Independent Central Banks: Low Inflation at No Cost?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(2), pages 196-200, May.
  13. Agell, Jonas, 1998. "On the Benefits from Rigid Labour Markets: Norms, Market Failures, and Social Insurance," Working Paper Series 1998:17, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
  14. Tirole, Jean, 1994. "The Internal Organization of Government," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 46(1), pages 1-29, January.
  15. Cukierman, Alex & Lippi, Francesco, 1999. "Labour Markets and Monetary Union: A Strategic Analysis," CEPR Discussion Papers 2236, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  16. Matthew B. Canzoneri & Robert E. Cumby & Behzad T. Diba, 2001. "Is the Price Level Determined by the Needs of Fiscal Solvency?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1221-1238, December.
  17. Alan S. Blinder, 1999. "Central Bank Credibility: Why Do We Care? How Do We Build It?," NBER Working Papers 7161, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Sibert, Anne, 1999. "Monetary Integration and Economic Reform," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(452), pages 78-92, January.
  19. Torben M. Andersen & Niels Haldrup & Jan Rose Sørensen, 2000. "Labour market implications of EU product market integration," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 15(30), pages 105-134, 04.
  20. Calmfors, Lars, 1998. "Macroeconomic Policy, Wage Setting and Employment - What Difference Does the EMU Make?," Seminar Papers 657, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
  21. Julio J. Rotemberg & Michael Woodford, 1998. "An Optimization-Based Econometric Framework for the Evaluation of Monetary Policy: Expanded Version," NBER Technical Working Papers 0233, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  22. Jeffrey C. Fuhrer, 1994. "Goals, guidelines, and constraints facing monetary policymakers: an overview," New England Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, issue Sep, pages 3-15.
  23. Anne C. Sibert & Alan Sutherland, . "Monetary Regimes and Labour Market Reform," Discussion Papers 97/14, Department of Economics, University of York.
  24. Juan F. Jimeno & Jose Vinals, 1998. "The impact of EMU on European unemployment," Working Papers 34, Oesterreichische Nationalbank (Austrian Central Bank).
  25. Soskice, David & Iversen, Torben, 1998. "Multiple Wage-Bargaining Systems in the Single European Currency Area," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 14(3), pages 110-24, Autumn.
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