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Labour Market Asymmetries in a Monetary Union

  • Torben M. Andersen
  • Martin Seneca

This paper takes a first step in analysing how a monetary union performs in the presence of labour market asymmetries. Differences in wage flexibility, market power and country sizes are allowed for in a setting with both country-specific and aggregate shocks. The implications of asymmetries for both the overall performance of the monetary union and the country-specific situation are analysed. It is shown that asymmetries can have important effects, and that there are substantial spill-over effects. Among other things, it is found that aggregate output volatility is not strictly increasing in nominal rigidity but hump-shaped. A disproportionate share of the consequences of wage inflexibility may fall on small countries. In the case of country-specific shocks a country unambiguously benefits in terms of macroeconomic stability by becoming more flexible, but in general an inflexible country does not necessarily achieve more output stability by becoming more flexible. As this may be desirable for the monetary union as a whole, there is a risk of a ’reform deficit’ in an asymmetric monetary union.

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Paper provided by Kiel Institute for the World Economy in its series Kiel Working Papers with number 1331.

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Length: 36 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:kie:kieliw:1331
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  1. Jordi Galí & Mark Gertler, 2007. "Macroeconomic modeling for monetary policy evaluation," Economics Working Papers 1039, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Jul 2007.
  2. Holden, Steinar & Wulfsberg, Fredrik, 2005. "Downward Nominal Wage Rigidity in the OECD," Memorandum 10/2005, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
  3. Harris Dellas & George Tavlas, 2002. "Wage Rigidity and Monetary Union," Diskussionsschriften dp0219, Universitaet Bern, Departement Volkswirtschaft.
  4. Maurice Obstfeld & Kenneth Rogoff, 1994. "Exchange Rate Dynamics Redux," NBER Working Papers 4693, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Alfonso Arpaia & Karl Pichelmann, 2007. "Nominal and real wage flexibility in EMU," International Economics and Economic Policy, Springer, vol. 4(3), pages 299-328, November.
  6. repec:oup:qjecon:v:116:y:2001:i:2:p:421-445 is not listed on IDEAS
  7. Frank Smets & Raf Wouters, 2002. "An estimated dynamic stochastic general equilibrium model of the euro area," Working Paper Research 35, National Bank of Belgium.
  8. Taylor, John B, 1980. "Aggregate Dynamics and Staggered Contracts," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 88(1), pages 1-23, February.
  9. Rotemberg, Julio J, 1982. "Sticky Prices in the United States," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 90(6), pages 1187-1211, December.
  10. Benigno, Pierpaolo, 2004. "Optimal monetary policy in a currency area," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(2), pages 293-320, July.
  11. Beetsma, Roel & Jensen, Henrik, 2002. "Monetary and fiscal policy interactions in a micro-founded model of a monetary union," Working Paper Series 0166, European Central Bank.
  12. 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.
  13. Lombardo, Giovanni & Sutherland, Alan, 2004. "Monetary and fiscal interactions in open economies," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 319-347, June.
  14. Beetsma, Roel & Jensen, Henrik, 2003. "Mark-Up Fluctuations and Fiscal Policy Stabilization in a Monetary Union," CEPR Discussion Papers 4020, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  15. Calvo, Guillermo A., 1983. "Staggered prices in a utility-maximizing framework," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 383-398, September.
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