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Has the EMU Reduced Wage Growth and Unemployment? Testing a Model of Trade Union Behaviour

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Abstract

By using a model of trade union behaviour Gruener (2010) argues that the introduction of the European Monetary Union (EMU) led to lower wage growth and lower unemployment in participating countries. Following Gruener's model, monetary centralization lets the central bank react less flexibly to national business cycle movements. This increases the amplitude of national business cycles which, in turn, leads to higher unemployment risk. In order to counter-balance this effect, trade unions lower their claims for wage mark-ups resulting in lower wage growth and lower unemployment. This paper uses macroeconomic data on OECD countries and a difference-in-differences approach to empirically test the implications of this model. Although we come up with some weak evidence for increased business cycle amplitudes within the EMU, we neither find a significant general effect of the EMU on wage growth nor on unemployment.

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  • Heiner Mikosch & Jan-Egbert Sturm, 2011. "Has the EMU Reduced Wage Growth and Unemployment? Testing a Model of Trade Union Behaviour," KOF Working papers 11-280, KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich.
  • Handle: RePEc:kof:wpskof:11-280
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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.3929/ethz-a-006435838
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    Cited by:

    1. Hope, David, 2016. "Estimating the effect of the EMU on current account balances: A synthetic control approach," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 20-40.
    2. Chadi, Adrian, 2015. "Concerns about the Euro and happiness in Germany during times of crisis," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 40(PA), pages 126-146.
    3. Thushyanthan Baskaran & Zohal Hessami, 2017. "Monetary integration, soft budget constraints, and the EMU sovereign debt crises," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 29(3), pages 252-275, November.
    4. Egger, Peter H. & Radulescu, Doina M., 2012. "Family policy and the number of children: Evidence from a natural experiment," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 28(4), pages 524-539.
    5. Ioannou, Demosthenes & Stracca, Livio, 2014. "Have the euro area and EU governance worked? Just the facts," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 1-17.

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    JEL classification:

    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy
    • E58 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Central Banks and Their Policies

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