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The Costs and Benefits of Various Wage Bargaining Structures; An Empirical Exploration

  • Alun H. Thomas
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    The literature on the relationship between the unemployment rate and wage bargaining fails to separate the offsetting effects of a reduction in competition associated with centralized bargaining and the increased awareness of unemployment externalities. This paper uses OECD data to distinguish these effects. While wages have become more sensitive to changes in the unemployment rate in countries that have switched to centralized wage-bargaining arrangements, the industry wage is not particularly sensitive to internal factors (relative price and productivity shifts) in economies with centralized/industry-level bargaining arrangements. The latter effect dominates in terms of persistently high unemployment and weaker growth.

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    Paper provided by International Monetary Fund in its series IMF Working Papers with number 02/71.

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    Length: 35
    Date of creation: 01 Apr 2002
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:02/71
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    1. Davis, Steven J. & Henrekson, Magnus, 2005. "Wage-setting institutions as industrial policy," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 345-377, June.
    2. Haque, N. U. & Pesaran, M. H. & Sharma, Sunil, 1999. "Neglected Heterogeneity and Dynamics in Cross-country Savings Regressions," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 9904, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
    3. Cukierman, A. & Lippi, F., 1998. "Central Bank Independence, Centralization of Wage Bargaining, Inflation and Unemployment - Theory and Some Evidence," Discussion Paper 1998-116, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
    4. Nickell, S. & Wadhwani, S., 1989. "Insider Forces And Wage Determination," Economics Series Working Papers 9972, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    5. Blau, Francine D & Kahn, Lawrence M, 1996. "International Differences in Male Wage Inequality: Institutions versus Market Forces," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(4), pages 791-836, August.
    6. Rodseth,A. & Nymoen,R., 1999. "Nordic wage formation and unemployment seven years later," Memorandum 10/1999, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
    7. Holden, Steinar, 1994. "Wage bargaining and nominal rigidities," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 38(5), pages 1021-1039, May.
    8. Hibbs, Douglas A, Jr & Locking, Hakan, 2000. "Wage Dispersion and Productive Efficiency: Evidence for Sweden," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 18(4), pages 755-82, October.
    9. Moene, K.O. & Wallerstein, M. & Hoel, M., 1992. "Bargaining Structure and Economic Performance," Memorandum 10/1992, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
    10. Per-Anders Edin & Bertl Holmlund, 1993. "The Swedish Wage Stucture: The Rise and Fall of Solidarity Wage Policy?," NBER Working Papers 4257, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Robert J. Flanagan, 1999. "Macroeconomic Performance and Collective Bargaining: An International Perspective," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(3), pages 1150-1175, September.
    12. Guzzo, Vincenzo & Velasco, Andres, 1999. "The case for a populist Central Banker," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 43(7), pages 1317-1344, June.
    13. Daron Acemoglu & Joern-Steffen Pischke, 1999. "Certification of Training and Training Outcomes," Working papers 99-28, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
    14. Calmfors, Lars, 1993. "Lessons from the macroeconomic experience of Sweden," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 9(1), pages 25-72, March.
    15. Stéphanie Guichard & Jean-Pierre Laffargue, 2000. "The Wage Curve: The Lessons of an Estimation Over a Panel of Countries," Working Papers 2000-21, CEPII research center.
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