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Unit Labour Costs in the New EU Member States


  • Peter Havlik

    () (The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw)


Unit labour costs (ULCs) are one of the key economic variables considered in the context of globalization, competitiveness and production-location decisions. With the EU accession of eight Central and East European countries and their (almost) full inclusion in the European Single Market, the issues related to the labour cost competitiveness of these countries has become even more important. The present paper outlines the key methodological and practical problems associated with the evaluation of ULCs with a particular focus on the new EU member states (NMS). It provides also new and up-to-date internationally comparable ULC estimates for NMS at both the aggregate level (for the whole GDP) and in the manufacturing industry, as well as for its individual branches. A detailed statistical appendix contains indicators of macro-competitiveness for each NMS as well as data on productivity, labour costs and ULC estimates in the manufacturing industry.

Suggested Citation

  • Peter Havlik, 2005. "Unit Labour Costs in the New EU Member States," wiiw Statistical Reports 1, The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw.
  • Handle: RePEc:wii:spaper:statr:1

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    Cited by:

    1. Peter Havlik & Sebastian Leitner & Robert Stehrer, 2012. "Growth Resurgence, Productivity Catching-up and Labour Demand in Central and Eastern European Countries," Chapters,in: Industrial Productivity in Europe, chapter 8 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    2. Anselm Komla Abots, 2015. "Foreign Ownership of Firms and Corruption in Africa," International Journal of Economics and Financial Issues, Econjournals, vol. 5(3), pages 647-655.
    3. Gabor Hunya, 2008. "Austrian FDI by main Countries and Industries," FIW Research Reports series I-015, FIW.
    4. Bellak, Christian & Leibrecht, Markus & Riedl, Aleksandra, 2008. "Labour costs and FDI flows into Central and Eastern European Countries: A survey of the literature and empirical evidence," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 17-37, March.
    5. Peter Havlik & Sebastian Leitner & Robert Stehrer, 2008. "Growth Resurgence, Productivity Catching-up and Labour Demand in CEECs," wiiw Statistical Reports 3, The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw.

    More about this item


    competitiveness; labour costs; productivity; manufacturing; EU enlargement;

    JEL classification:

    • C43 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods: Special Topics - - - Index Numbers and Aggregation
    • C82 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs - - - Methodology for Collecting, Estimating, and Organizing Macroeconomic Data; Data Access
    • E2 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment
    • F49 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Other
    • J3 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs


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