IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

On wage formation, wage flexibility and wage coordination : A focus on the wage impact of productivity in Germany, Greece, Ireland, Portugal, Spain and the United States

  • Peeters, Marga
  • Den Reijer, Ard

This paper discusses the endeavours of policy makers to come to some degree of wage coordination among EU countries, aiming at aligning wage growth with labour productivity growth at the national levels. In this context, we analyse the wage and productivity developments in Germany, the European Union’s periphery countries Greece, Ireland, Portugal, and Spain along with the US for the period 1980-2010. Apart from the contribution of productivity to wages, we take into account the contributions of prices, unemployment, replacement rates and taxes by means of an econometrically estimated non-linear wage equation resulting from a wage bargaining model. We further study the downward rigidities of wages in depth. The findings show that in past times of low productivity, price inflation and reductions in unemployment put significant upward pressure on wage growth, also in the low inflationary period of the 2000s. Greece, Ireland, Portugal and Spain are far from aligning wage growth with productivity growth. German productivity is a major German wage determinant, but surely not the only one. To steer wages, policy makers can effectively use the replacement rate.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
File Function: original version
Download Restriction: no

File URL:
File Function: revised version
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 31102.

in new window

Date of creation: 29 Jun 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:31102
Contact details of provider: Postal: Schackstr. 4, D-80539 Munich, Germany
Phone: +49-(0)89-2180-2219
Fax: +49-(0)89-2180-3900
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Bentolila, Samuel & Cahuc, Pierre & Dolado, Juan J. & Le Barbanchon, Thomas, 2010. "Two-Tier Labor Markets in the Great Recession: France vs. Spain," IZA Discussion Papers 5340, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Ray Barrell & Karen Dury, 2001. "Asymmetric Labour Markets in a Converging Europe: Do Differences Matter?," Economics Working Papers 002, European Network of Economic Policy Research Institutes.
  3. Gruner, Hans Peter & Hefeker, Carsten, 1999. " How Will EMU Affect Inflation and Unemployment in Europe?," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 101(1), pages 33-47, March.
  4. Nickell, Stephen J & Wadhwani, Sushil, 1990. "Insider Forces and Wage Determination," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 100(401), pages 496-509, June.
  5. Demertzis, Maria & Van Els, Peter & Grob, Sybille & Peeters, Marga, 2006. "EUROMON: The multi-country model of De Nederlandsche Bank," MPRA Paper 28512, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  6. Caballero, Ricardo J & Hammour, Mohamad L, 1996. "On the Timing and Efficiency of Creative Destruction," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 111(3), pages 805-52, August.
  7. William T. Dickens & Lorenz Goette & Erica L. Groshen & Steinar Holden & Julian Messina & Mark E. Schweitzer & Jarkko Turunen & Melanie E. Ward, 2007. "How wages change: micro evidence from the international wage flexibility project," Staff Reports 275, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  8. Engelbert Stockhammer, 2008. "Wage Flexibility or Wage Coordination? Economic Policy Implications of the Wage-led Demand Regime in the Euro Area," European Journal of Economics and Economic Policies: Intervention, Edward Elgar, vol. 5(1), pages 54-62.
  9. John Addison & Mário Centeno & Pedro Portugal, 2009. "Do Reservation Wages Really Decline? Some International Evidence on the Determinants of Reservation Wages," Journal of Labor Research, Springer, vol. 30(1), pages 1-8, March.
  10. De Grauwe, Paul, 2011. "Governance of a Fragile Eurozone," CEPS Papers 5523, Centre for European Policy Studies.
  11. Peeters, H.M.M. & Den Reijer, A.H.J., 2008. "ON WAGE FORMATION, WAGE DEVELOPMENT AND FLEXIBILITY: A comparison between European countries and the United States," Applied Econometrics and International Development, Euro-American Association of Economic Development, vol. 8(1), pages 59-74.
  12. H.M.M. Peeters & A.H.J. den Reijer, 2001. "On Wage Formation, Wage Development and Unemployment," WO Research Memoranda (discontinued) 677, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
  13. Bell, Brian & Nickell, Stephen & Quintini, Glenda, 2002. "Wage equations, wage curves and all that," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(3), pages 341-360, July.
  14. Arpaia, Alfonso & Pichelmann, Karl, 2007. "Nominal and real wage flexibility in EMU," MPRA Paper 4364, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  15. Samuel Bentolila & Gilles Saint Paul, 1999. "Explaining movements in the labor share," Economics Working Papers 374, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  16. Alain Borghijs & Sjef Ederveen & Ruud de Mooij, 2003. "European Wage Coordination: Nightmare or dream to come true?," Economics Working Papers 020, European Network of Economic Policy Research Institutes.
  17. Feldstein, Martin, 2008. "Did wages reflect growth in productivity?," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 591-594.
  18. Olympia Bover & Pilar García-Perea & Pedro Portugal, 2000. "Labour market outliers: Lessons from Portugal and Spain," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 15(31), pages 379-428, October.
  19. Lars Calmfors & Asa Johansson, 2006. "Nominal Wage Flexibility, Wage Indexation and Monetary Union," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 116(508), pages 283-308, 01.
  20. M.M.G. Fase & A.F. Tieman, 2000. "Wage moderation, innovation and labour productivity: myths and facts revisited (in Dutch)," WO Research Memoranda (discontinued) 635, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
  21. Steinar Holden & Fredrik Wulfsberg, 2007. "Downward Nominal Wage Rigidity in the OECD," CESifo Working Paper Series 2009, CESifo Group Munich.
  22. Sergio Destefanis & Giuseppe Mastromatteo, 2009. "Labor-market Performance in the OECD--An Assessment of Recent Evidence," Economics Working Paper Archive wp_559, Levy Economics Institute.
  23. Jens Boysen-Hogrefe & Dominik Groll & Wolfgang Lechthaler & Christian Merkl, 2010. "The Role of Labor Market Institutions in the Great Recession," Applied Economics Quarterly (formerly: Konjunkturpolitik), Duncker & Humblot, Berlin, vol. 61(Supplemen), pages 65-88.
  24. Stephen Nickell, 1997. "Unemployment and Labor Market Rigidities: Europe versus North America," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(3), pages 55-74, Summer.
  25. Grubb, David B. & Jackman, Richard & Layard, Richard, 1983. "Wage rigidity and unemployment in OECD countries," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 21(1-2), pages 11-39.
  26. Kees Folmer, 2009. "Why do macro wage elasticities diverge? A meta analysis," CPB Discussion Paper 122, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
  27. Feldstein, Martin, 2008. "Did Wages Reflect Growth in Productivity?," Scholarly Articles 2794832, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  28. Karl Pichelmann, 2001. "Monitoring Wage Developments in EMU," Empirica, Springer, vol. 28(4), pages 353-373, December.
  29. Graafland, J.J. & Huizinga, F.H., 1998. "Taxes and benefits in a non-linear wage equation," MPRA Paper 21076, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  30. Alain Borghijs & Sjef Ederveen & Ruud de Mooij, 2003. "European wage coordination; nightmare or dream to come true? An economic analysis of wage bargaining institutions in the EU," CPB Discussion Paper 17, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
  31. Kees Folmer, 2009. "Why do macro wage elasticities diverge?," CPB Memorandum 224, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
  32. Layard, Richard & Nickell, Stephen & Jackman, Richard, 2005. "Unemployment: Macroeconomic Performance and the Labour Market," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199279173.
  33. DREGER, Christian & REIMERS, Hans-Eggert, 2011. "On The Role Of Sectoral And National Wage Components In The Wage Bargaining Process," Regional and Sectoral Economic Studies, Euro-American Association of Economic Development, vol. 11(1).
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:31102. 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: (Ekkehart Schlicht)

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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

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

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.