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Labour Markets in EMU - What has changed and what needs to change


  • Giuseppe Bertola


This paper reviews theoretical and empirical aspects of the interaction between Europe's Economic and Monetary Union and recent labour market developments. Policies meant to increase and stabilize labour incomes also tend to reduce employment and productivity, theory suggests that the latter effects should be sharper and more relevant within an integrated market area, making it harder for National policy makers to address the consequences of financial and other market imperfections. Empirical patterns of policy and outcome indicators in member and non-member countries of EMU are consistent with that theoretical mechanism. In the data, tighter economic integration is associated with better employment performance, substantial deregulation, sharper disemployment effects of remaining regulatory differences, and somewhat higher inequality and larger private financial market volume..

Suggested Citation

  • Giuseppe Bertola, 2008. "Labour Markets in EMU - What has changed and what needs to change," European Economy - Economic Papers 2008 - 2015 338, Directorate General Economic and Financial Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.
  • Handle: RePEc:euf:ecopap:0338

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Kazanas, Thanassis & Miaouli, Natasha, 2014. "Wage-setting and capital in unionized markets: Evidence from South Europe," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 368-376.
    2. Michele SANTONI, 2009. "Does product market integration lead to decentralised wage bargaining institutions?," Departmental Working Papers 2009-43, Department of Economics, Management and Quantitative Methods at Università degli Studi di Milano.
    3. Schnabl, Gunther & Ziegler, Christina, 2011. "Exchange rate and wage policies in Central and Eastern Europe," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 33(3), pages 347-360, May.
    4. Giuseppe Bertola, 2010. "Inequality, integration, and policy: issues and evidence from EMU," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 8(3), pages 345-365, September.

    More about this item


    labour market; monetary union; unemployment; employment; labour income; Bertola;

    JEL classification:

    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • J20 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - General


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