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Country Size and Labor Market Flexibility in the European Monetary Union: Why Small Countries Have more Flexible Labor Markets

  • Zemanek, Holger

This paper explores the impact of country size on labor market flexibility in a monetary union with a common monetary policy as conducted in EMU. I apply a Barro-Gordon framework and test its result empirically for EMU. Results confirm that small countries demand higher labor market flexibility than large countries. Small countries use labor market flexibility to be protected against monetary policy in favor of large countries and use flexibility as a substitute for monetary policy. Thereby, national inflation volatilities and unemployment volatility are important determinants. Business cycle synchronization reduces the need of small countries for additional labor market flexibility.

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File URL: http://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/16482/1/MPRA_paper_16482.pdf
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File URL: http://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/19131/1/MPRA_paper_19131.pdf
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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 16482.

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Date of creation: 27 Jul 2009
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:16482
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  1. Holger Zemanek & Ansgar Belke & Gunther Schnabl, 2009. "Current Account Imbalances and Structural Adjustment in the Euro Area: How to Rebalance Competitiveness," CESifo Working Paper Series 2639, CESifo Group Munich.
  2. Sibert, Anne & Sutherland, Alan, 2000. "Monetary union and labor market reform," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 421-435, August.
  3. Barro, Robert J & Gordon, David B, 1983. "A Positive Theory of Monetary Policy in a Natural Rate Model," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(4), pages 589-610, August.
  4. Romain Duval & Jørgen Elmeskov, 2005. "The Effects of EMU on Structural Reforms in Labour and Product Markets," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 438, OECD Publishing.
  5. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1977. "Rules Rather Than Discretion: The Inconsistency of Optimal Plans," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(3), pages 473-91, June.
  6. Ansgar Belke & Bernhard Herz & Lukas Vogel, 2005. "Structural Reforms and the Exchange Rate Regime A Panel Analysis for the World versus OECD Countries," Diskussionspapiere aus dem Institut für Volkswirtschaftslehre der Universität Hohenheim 263/2005, Department of Economics, University of Hohenheim, Germany.
  7. Helge Berger & Carsten Hefeker, 2004. "One Country, One Vote? Labor Market Structure and Voting Rights in the ECB," CESifo Working Paper Series 1165, CESifo Group Munich.
  8. Barro, Robert J. & Gordon, David B., 1983. "Rules, discretion and reputation in a model of monetary policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 101-121.
  9. Carsten Hefeker, 2006. "EMU Enlargement, Policy Uncertainty and Economic Reforms," CESifo Working Paper Series 1767, CESifo Group Munich.
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