IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/jau/wpaper/2015-09.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Real unit labour costs in Eurozone countries: Drivers and clusters

Author

Listed:
  • Javier Ordóñez

    (Department of Economics, Universitat Jaume I, Castellón, Spain)

  • Hector Sala

    (IZA and Department of Economics, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain)

  • José I. Silva

    (Department of Economics, Universitat de Girona, Spain)

Abstract

We examine the trajectories of the real unit labour costs (RULCs) in a selection of Eurozone economies. Strong asymmetries in the convergence process of the RULCs and its components —real wages, capital intensity, and technology— are uncovered through decomposition and cluster analyses. In the last three decades, the PIIGS (Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece, and Spain) succeeded in reducing their RULCs by more than their northern partners. With the exception of Ireland, however, technological progress was weak; it was through capital intensification that periphery economies gained efficiency and competitiveness. Cluster heterogeneity, and lack of robustness in cluster composition, is a reflection of the difficulties in achieving real convergence and, by extension, nominal convergence. We conclude by outlining technology as the key convergence factor, and call for a wider strategy in labour market policies, which should be more oriented to promote the sources of productivity growth.

Suggested Citation

  • Javier Ordóñez & Hector Sala & José I. Silva, 2015. "Real unit labour costs in Eurozone countries: Drivers and clusters," Working Papers 2015/09, Economics Department, Universitat Jaume I, Castellón (Spain).
  • Handle: RePEc:jau:wpaper:2015/09
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.doctreballeco.uji.es/wpficheros/Ordonez_et_al_09_2015.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Eckhard Hein & Achim Truger & Till van Treeck, 2011. "The European Financial and Economic Crisis: Alternative Solutions from a (Post-) Keynesian Perspective," IMK Working Paper 9-2011, IMK at the Hans Boeckler Foundation, Macroeconomic Policy Institute.
    2. Richard H. Clarida, 2007. "G7 Current Account Imbalances: Sustainability and Adjustment," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number clar06-2, december.
    3. Michael G. Arghyrou & Georgios Chortareas, 2008. "Current Account Imbalances and Real Exchange Rates in the Euro Area," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 16(4), pages 747-764, September.
    4. Bernard, Andrew B & Durlauf, Steven N, 1995. "Convergence in International Output," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 10(2), pages 97-108, April-Jun.
    5. Ansgar Belke & Gunther Schnabl, 2013. "Four Generations of Global Imbalances," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 21(1), pages 1-5, February.
    6. Feldstein, Martin & Horioka, Charles, 1980. "Domestic Saving and International Capital Flows," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 90(358), pages 314-329, June.
    7. Peter C. B. Phillips & Donggyu Sul, 2009. "Economic transition and growth," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 24(7), pages 1153-1185.
    8. De Grauwe, Paul, 2012. "In Search of Symmetry in the Eurozone," CEPS Papers 6901, Centre for European Policy Studies.
    9. Hector Sala & José Silva, 2013. "Labor productivity and vocational training: evidence from Europe," Journal of Productivity Analysis, Springer, vol. 40(1), pages 31-41, August.
    10. Jordi Galí & Tommaso Monacelli, 2016. "Understanding the Gains from Wage Flexibility: The Exchange Rate Connection," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 106(12), pages 3829-3868, December.
    11. Hans-Werner Sinn, 2014. "Austerity, Growth and Inflation: Remarks on the Eurozone's Unresolved Competitiveness Problem," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 37(1), pages 1-13, January.
    12. Monfort, Mercedes & Cuestas, Juan Carlos & Ordóñez, Javier, 2013. "Real convergence in Europe: A cluster analysis," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 33(C), pages 689-694.
    13. Nils Holinski & Clemens J. M. Kool & Joan Muysken, 2012. "Persistent macroeconomic imbalances in the Euro area: causes and consequences," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, vol. 94(Jan), pages 1-20.
    14. Krause-Pilatus, Annabelle & Rinne, Ulf & Zimmermann, Klaus F., 2014. "How Far Away Is a Single European Labor Market?," IZA Discussion Papers 8383, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    15. Beyaert, Arielle & García-Solanes, José, 2014. "Output gap and non-linear economic convergence," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 121-135.
    16. Angelini, Elisabetta Croci & Farina, Francesco, 2012. "Current account imbalances and systemic risk within a monetary union," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 83(3), pages 647-656.
    17. Peter Wierts & Henk Van Kerkhoff & Jakob De Haan, 2014. "Composition of Exports and Export Performance of Eurozone Countries," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(4), pages 928-941, July.
    18. Peter C. B. Phillips & Donggyu Sul, 2007. "Transition Modeling and Econometric Convergence Tests," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 75(6), pages 1771-1855, November.
    19. Anders Aslund & Marek Dabrowski, 2008. "Challenges of Globalization: Imbalances and Growth," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number 4181, December.
    20. Ansgar Belke & Christian Dreger, 2013. "Current Account Imbalances in the Euro Area: Does Catching up Explain the Development?," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 21(1), pages 6-17, February.
    21. Sofia Gouveia & Leonida Correia, 2013. "Labour costs dynamics in the Euro area: some empirical evidence," International Economics and Economic Policy, Springer, vol. 10(3), pages 323-347, September.
    22. Francesca Pancotto & Filippo Pericoli, 2014. "Till labor cost do us part," International Economics and Economic Policy, Springer, vol. 11(3), pages 371-395, September.
    23. Olivier Blanchard, 2007. "Current Account Deficits in Rich Countries," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 54(2), pages 191-219, June.
    24. Richard B. Freeman & Birgitta Swedenborg & Robert Topel, 2010. "Reforming the Welfare State: Recovery and Beyond in Sweden," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number free05-1, december.
    25. Thomas D. Willett, 2012. "Global Imbalances and Financial Stability," Global Economic Review, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 41(4), pages 293-297, December.
    26. Olivier Blanchard, 2007. "Adjustment within the euro. The difficult case of Portugal," Portuguese Economic Journal, Springer;Instituto Superior de Economia e Gestao, vol. 6(1), pages 1-21, April.
    27. Richard B. Freeman & Birgitta Swedenborg & Robert H. Topel, 2010. "Introduction to "Reforming the Welfare State: Recovery and Beyond in Sweden"," NBER Chapters, in: Reforming the Welfare State: Recovery and Beyond in Sweden, pages 1-23, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    28. Richard H. Clarida, 2007. "Introduction to "G7 Current Account Imbalances: Sustainability and Adjustment"," NBER Chapters, in: G7 Current Account Imbalances: Sustainability and Adjustment, pages 1-10, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    29. Nancy Stokey, 2015. "Catching up and falling behind," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 20(1), pages 1-36, March.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Janez Kren, & T.Huw Edwards, & Jan Van Hove,, 2016. "Dynamics in European Exports in times of Crisis: The Impact of Growth at Home and Abroad," Discussion Paper Series 2016_01, Department of Economics, Loughborough University, revised Feb 2016.
    2. Mercedes Monfort & Javier Ordóñez & Hector Sala, 2018. "Inequality and Unemployment Patterns in Europe: Does Integration Lead to (Real) Convergence?," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 29(4), pages 703-724, September.
    3. Juan Carlos Cuestas & Mercedes Monfort & Javier Ordóñez, 2021. "The education pillar of the Europe 2020 strategy: a convergence analysis," Empirica, Springer;Austrian Institute for Economic Research;Austrian Economic Association, vol. 48(4), pages 1113-1129, November.
    4. Juan C. Cuestas & Mercedes Monfort & Javier Ordóñez, 2021. "Stochastic convergence in real personal disposable income in the EU: A note," International Journal of Finance & Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 26(4), pages 6390-6394, October.
    5. André M. Marques & Gilberto Tadeu Lima, 2021. "Testing for Granger Causality in Quantiles Between the Wage Share and Capacity Utilization," Working Papers, Department of Economics 2021_03, University of São Paulo (FEA-USP).
    6. Maynou, Laia & Monfort, Mercedes & Morley, Bruce & Ordóñez, Javier, 2021. "Club convergence in European housing prices: The role of macroeconomic and housing market fundamentals," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 103(C).
    7. Atanu Ghoshray & Mercedes Monfort & Javier Ordóñez, 2020. "Economic integration and the distribution of income in Europe: A between country analysis," Working Papers 2020/11, Economics Department, Universitat Jaume I, Castellón (Spain).
    8. Juan Ángel Lafuente & Amparo Marco & Mercedes Monfort & Javier Ordóñez, 2020. "Social Exclusion and Convergence in the EU: An Assessment of the Europe 2020 Strategy," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 12(5), pages 1-22, February.
    9. Juan Carlos Cuestas & Mercedes Monfort & Javier Ordóñez, 2020. "Stochastic convergence in real personal disposable income in the EU," Working Papers 2020/09, Economics Department, Universitat Jaume I, Castellón (Spain).
    10. Juan Carlos Cuestas & Javier Ordóñez & Karsten Staehr, 2019. "Unit labour costs and the dynamics of output and unemployment in the southern European crisis countries," Empirica, Springer;Austrian Institute for Economic Research;Austrian Economic Association, vol. 46(3), pages 597-616, August.
    11. Ghoshray, Atanu & Ordóñez, Javier & Sala, Hector, 2016. "Euro, crisis and unemployment: Youth patterns, youth policies?," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 442-453.
    12. Adnan Velic, 2017. "Current Account Imbalances, Real Exchange Rates, and Nominal Exchange Rate Variability," Trinity Economics Papers tep1417, Trinity College Dublin, Department of Economics, revised Oct 2021.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Giuseppe Caivano & Nicola D. Coniglio, 2016. "Long-Run Drivers of Current Account Imbalances in the EU: the Role of Trade Openness," SERIES 03-2016, Dipartimento di Economia e Finanza - Università degli Studi di Bari "Aldo Moro", revised May 2016.
    2. Juan C. Cuestas & Mercedes Monfort & Javier Ordóñez, 2021. "Stochastic convergence in real personal disposable income in the EU: A note," International Journal of Finance & Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 26(4), pages 6390-6394, October.
    3. Juan Ángel Lafuente & Amparo Marco & Mercedes Monfort & Javier Ordóñez, 2020. "Social Exclusion and Convergence in the EU: An Assessment of the Europe 2020 Strategy," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 12(5), pages 1-22, February.
    4. Sulekha Hembram & Souparna Maji & Sushil Kr. Haldar, 2019. "Club Convergence among the Major Indian States During 1982–2014: Does Investment in Human Capital Matter?," South Asia Economic Journal, Institute of Policy Studies of Sri Lanka, vol. 20(2), pages 184-204, September.
    5. Walter Paternesi Meloni, 2017. "Austerity & Competitiveness in the Eurozone: a misleading linkage," Departmental Working Papers of Economics - University 'Roma Tre' 0223, Department of Economics - University Roma Tre.
    6. Desli, E. & Gkoulgkoutsika, A., 2020. "World economic convergence: Does the estimation methodology matter?," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 91(C), pages 138-147.
    7. Mercedes Monfort & Javier Ordóñez & Hector Sala, 2018. "Inequality and Unemployment Patterns in Europe: Does Integration Lead to (Real) Convergence?," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 29(4), pages 703-724, September.
    8. Eduardo Cavallo & Barry Eichengreen & Ugo Panizza, 2018. "Can countries rely on foreign saving for investment and economic development?," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 154(2), pages 277-306, May.
    9. Cartone, Alfredo & Postiglione, Paolo & Hewings, Geoffrey J.D., 2021. "Does economic convergence hold? A spatial quantile analysis on European regions," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 95(C), pages 408-417.
    10. Desli, Evangelia & Gkoulgkoutsika, Alexandra, 2021. "Economic convergence among the world’s top-income economies," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 80(C), pages 841-853.
    11. Juan Carlos Cuestas & Mercedes Monfort & Javier Ordóñez, 2020. "Stochastic convergence in real personal disposable income in the EU," Working Papers 2020/09, Economics Department, Universitat Jaume I, Castellón (Spain).
    12. Carlos A. Silva & Xavier Ordeñana & Paul Vera-Gilces & Alfredo Jiménez, 2021. "Global Imbalances: The Role of Institutions, Financial Development and FDI in the Context of Financial Crises," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 13(1), pages 1-20, January.
    13. Charles Shaaba Saba & Nicholas Ngepah & Christian Nsiah, 2020. "Convergence in military expenditure and economic growth in Africa and its regional economic communities: evidence from a club clustering algorithm," Cogent Economics & Finance, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 8(1), pages 1832344-183, January.
    14. Montañés, Antonio & Olmos, Lorena & Reyes, Marcelo, 2018. "Has the Great Recession affected the convergence process? The case of Spanish provinces," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 68(C), pages 360-371.
    15. Rughoo, Aarti & You, Kefei, 2016. "Asian financial integration: Global or regional? Evidence from money and bond markets," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 419-434.
    16. Sulekha Hembram & Sushil Kr. Haldar, 2019. "Beta, sigma and club convergence: Indian experience from 1980 to 2015," Indian Economic Review, Springer, vol. 54(2), pages 343-366, December.
    17. Montañés, Antonio & Olmos, Lorena & Reyes, Marcelo, 2016. "Does crisis affect convergence process? The case of the Spanish provinces," MPRA Paper 69543, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    18. Fabio Mazzola & Pietro Pizzuto, 2020. "Great Recession and club convergence in Europe: A cross‐country, cross‐region panel analysis (2000–2015)," Growth and Change, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 51(2), pages 676-711, June.
    19. Marina Glushenkova & Andros Kourtellos & Marios Zachariadis, 2018. "Barriers to price convergence," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 33(7), pages 1081-1097, November.
    20. Haupt, Harry & Schnurbus, Joachim & Semmler, Willi, 2018. "Estimation of grouped, time-varying convergence in economic growth," Econometrics and Statistics, Elsevier, vol. 8(C), pages 141-158.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Real unit labour costs; Eurozone; Real wages; Capital intensity; Technology;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • F43 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Economic Growth of Open Economies
    • F62 - International Economics - - Economic Impacts of Globalization - - - Macroeconomic Impacts
    • O47 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Empirical Studies of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity; Cross-Country Output Convergence
    • O52 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Europe

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:jau:wpaper:2015/09. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/ueujies.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: María Aurora Garcia Gallego (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/ueujies.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.