Peripheral Europe’s Debt and German Wages. The Role of Wage Policy in the Euro Area
The paper argues that the Greek debt crisis, as well as those of other Southern European countries and Ireland, has to be seen in macroeconomic context. The sum of the public sector balance, the (domestic) private sector balance and the current account deficit (or equivalently: the capital inflows) has to add up to zero. By implication in a country that has a current account deficit either the private sector or the public sector has to run a deficit. Therefore the peripheral countries can only solve their public debt problems if there is a change in German current account surpluses. The paper explores the implications of this for wage policy in the euro zone.