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Rethinking wage policy in the face of the Euro crisis: Implications of the wage-led demand regime

Author

Listed:
  • Onaran, Ozlem

    (University of Westminster, UK)

  • Stockhammer, Engelbert

    (Kingston University London)

Abstract

Ten years after its introduction, the Euro is in an existential crisis. The crisis is the outcome of economic policies that have aimed at labour market flexibility and financial integration. The paper argues, firstly, that the aggregate demand regime in the Euro area is wage led. While an increase in wages (other things equal) does have a negative effect on investment and on net exports, it does have a positive effect on consumption. As the Euro area is a relatively closed economy the consumption effect overpowers the investment effect and the export effect. Secondly, we argue that in the Euro area two growth models have emerged: a credit-led and an export-led model. These have given rise to the imbalances that are at the heart of the Euro crisis. Wage flexibility has proven insufficient to prevent these imbalances. Thirdly, we advocate a system of coordinated wage bargaining that aims at wages rising in line with productivity growth and a substantially upward-revised inflation target. If the project of European economic integration is to survive, it needs a drastic change in direction. An important building block of this redirection is a rethinking of the role of wage policy.

Suggested Citation

  • Onaran, Ozlem & Stockhammer, Engelbert, 2011. "Rethinking wage policy in the face of the Euro crisis: Implications of the wage-led demand regime," Economics Discussion Papers 2011-2, School of Economics, Kingston University London.
  • Handle: RePEc:ris:kngedp:2011_002
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Engelbert Stockhammer & Eckhard Hein & Lucas Grafl, 2011. "Globalization and the effects of changes in functional income distribution on aggregate demand in Germany," International Review of Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 25(1), pages 1-23.
    2. Taylor, Lance, 1985. "A Stagnationist Model of Economic Growth," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 9(4), pages 383-403, December.
    3. Arestis, Philip & McCauley, Kevin & Sawyer, Malcolm, 2001. "An Alternative Stability Pact for the European Union," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 25(1), pages 113-130, January.
    4. Engelbert Stockhammer & Özlem Onaran & Stefan Ederer, 2009. "Functional income distribution and aggregate demand in the Euro area," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 33(1), pages 139-159, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. Carlo D'Ippoliti, 2013. "Introduzione: L'Unione Europea e' "mammona" (Introduction: A Pansy European Union)," Moneta e Credito, Economia civile, vol. 66(264), pages 377-395.
    2. Jesús Ferreiro & Carmen Gómez, 2014. "Implementing a Voluntary Wage Policy: Lessons from the Irish and Spanish Wages Policies before the Crisis," Panoeconomicus, Savez ekonomista Vojvodine, Novi Sad, Serbia, vol. 61(1), pages 107-127, Februar.
    3. Elias Sanidas, 2014. "The Greek Non-Paradigm of Economic and Business Development, and Comparisons with South Korea," SPOUDAI Journal of Economics and Business, SPOUDAI Journal of Economics and Business, University of Piraeus, vol. 64(3), pages 30-48, July-Sept.
    4. Daniele Tavani & Luca Zamparelli, 2017. "Government spending composition, aggregate demand, growth, and distribution," Review of Keynesian Economics, Edward Elgar Publishing, vol. 5(2), pages 239-258, April.
    5. Alberto Alonso & Vanesa Guzmán, 2014. "Monetary Union Viability: A Criterion Proposal," Metroeconomica, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 65(4), pages 717-750, November.
    6. Gächter, Martin & Ramskogler, Paul & Riedl, Aleksandra, 2018. "The trinity of wage setting in EMU: A policy proposal," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 40(2), pages 284-304.
    7. Engelbert Stockhammer & Collin Constantine & Severin Reissl, 2020. "Explaining the Euro crisis: current account imbalances, credit booms and economic policy in different economic paradigms," Journal of Post Keynesian Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 43(2), pages 231-266, April.
    8. Eckhard Hein, 2016. "Secular stagnation or stagnation policy? Steindl after Summers," PSL Quarterly Review, Economia civile, vol. 69(276), pages 3-47.
    9. Rudiger Arnim & Daniele Tavani & Laura Carvalho, 2014. "Redistribution in a Neo-Kaleckian Two-country Model," Metroeconomica, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 65(3), pages 430-459, July.
    10. Heinze, Henriette, 2018. "The determinants of German exports: An analysis of intra- and extra-EMU trade," IPE Working Papers 95/2018, Berlin School of Economics and Law, Institute for International Political Economy (IPE).
    11. Antônio Albano De Freitas, 2016. "Crisis, Profit Rate And The Political Economy Of The Eurozone," Anais do XLII Encontro Nacional de Economia [Proceedings of the 42nd Brazilian Economics Meeting] 010, ANPEC - Associação Nacional dos Centros de Pós-Graduação em Economia [Brazilian Association of Graduate Programs in Economics].
    12. repec:clr:wugarc:y:2013:v:39i:3p:291 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Eckhard Hein, 2015. "Causes and Consequences of the Financial Crisis and the Implications for a More Resilient Financial and Economic System: Synthesis of FESSUD Work Package 3," Working papers wpaper128, Financialisation, Economy, Society & Sustainable Development (FESSUD) Project.
    14. Hein, Eckhard, 2017. "Financialisation and tendencies towards stagnation: The role of macroeconomic regime changes in the course of and after the financial and economic crisis 2007-9," IPE Working Papers 90/2017, Berlin School of Economics and Law, Institute for International Political Economy (IPE).
    15. Eckhard Hein & Daniel Detzer, 2015. "Post-Keynesian Alternative Policies to Curb Macroeconomic Imbalances in the Euro Area," Panoeconomicus, Savez ekonomista Vojvodine, Novi Sad, Serbia, vol. 62(2), pages 217-236, June.
    16. Eckhard Hein & Eckhard Achim Truger, 2017. "Opportunities and limits of rebalancing the Eurozone via wage policies," FMM Working Paper 06-2017, IMK at the Hans Boeckler Foundation, Macroeconomic Policy Institute.
    17. Stephen Kinsella, 2013. "Was Ireland's Celtic Tiger Period Profit-led or Wage-led?," Review of Political Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 25(4), pages 572-585, October.
    18. Paternesi Meloni, Walter, 2016. "Austerity and competitiveness in the Eurozone: a misleading linkage," MPRA Paper 75962, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    19. Hein, Eckhard, 2016. "Causes and consequences of the financial crisis and the implications for a more resilient financial and economic system," IPE Working Papers 61/2016, Berlin School of Economics and Law, Institute for International Political Economy (IPE).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Euro crisis; European integration; wage policy; Keynesian economics;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E12 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General Aggregative Models - - - Keynes; Keynesian; Post-Keynesian; Modern Monetary Theory
    • E20 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - General (includes Measurement and Data)
    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • E42 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Monetary Sytsems; Standards; Regimes; Government and the Monetary System
    • E61 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Policy Objectives; Policy Designs and Consistency; Policy Coordination

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