The Balassa-Samuelsson effect and the wage, price and unemployment dynamics in Spain
This paper provides an empirical investigation of the wage, price and unemployment dynamics that have taken place in Spain during the last two decades. The aim of this paper is to shed some light on the impact of the European economic integration process on Spanish labour market and the convergence to a European level of prosperity. We find some important lessons to be learnt from the Spanish experience that should be relevant for the new member states. First, high competitiveness in the tradable sector seems crucial for the real and nominal convergence to be successful, implying that the increase of wages in the tradable sector, and subsequently in the nontradable sector, should not be allowed to exceed the growth in productivity. Second, before fixing the real exchange rate it seems crucial that it is on its sustainable (competitive) purchasing power parity level. A real appreciation, as a result of high growth rates during the catching-up period, is likely to be harmful for real growth and employment. The Balassa-Samuelsson effect and the wage, price and unemployment dynamics in Spain
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