IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Unemployment, wages and collective bargaining in the European Union

  • Eckhard Hein

    (WSI in der Hans Boeckler Stiftung)

  • Thorsten Schulten

    (WSI in der Hans Boeckler Stiftung)

The paper questions the predominant view on unemployment and wages in the European Un-ion according to which high unemployment is primarily caused by labour market rigidities, i.e. social institutions and regulations which prevent “market-clearing” real wage levels and structures. It is shown that the foundations of that view coming either from neo-classical or new-Keynesian theory are not convincing, neither theoretically nor empirically. Analysing the developments in the EU during the last four decades, no strictly inverse relationship between real wage growth and unemployment can be found. On the contrary, persistently high unem-ployment has had strong adverse effects on nominal wage growth and on the labour income share. Weakened labour union bargaining power and changing collective bargaining strategies have contributed to this result. It is therefore concluded that the current EU economic and employment policies aiming at further wage restraint, wage differentiation and decentralisa-tion of collective bargaining are deeply misguided and have to be replaced by an alternative wage policy in Europe as part of a growth and employment oriented coordination of macro-economic policies.

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: http://128.118.178.162/eps/mac/papers/0412/0412006.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by EconWPA in its series Macroeconomics with number 0412006.

as
in new window

Length: 30 pages
Date of creation: 10 Dec 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpma:0412006
Note: Type of Document - pdf; pages: 30
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://128.118.178.162

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. Olivier Blanchard & Lawrence F. Katz, 1996. "What We Know and Do Not Know About the Natural Rate of Unemployment," NBER Working Papers 5822, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Hein, Eckhard, 2002. "Monetary policy and wage bargaining in the EMU: Restrictive ECB policies, high unemployment, nominal wage restraint and rising inflation," WSI Discussion Papers 103, Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaftliches Institut (WSI), Hans-Böckler-Stiftung.
  3. Hein, Eckhard & Truger, Achim, 2004. "What ever happened to Germany? Is the decline of the former European key currency country caused by structural sclerosis or macroeconomic mismanagement?," Darmstadt Discussion Papers in Economics 37280, Darmstadt Technical University, Department of Business Administration, Economics and Law, Institute of Economics (VWL).
  4. Eckhard Hein, 2005. "Die NAIRU – eine post-keynesianische Interpretation," Macroeconomics 0501009, EconWPA.
  5. Truger, Achim & Schulten, Thorsten & Hein, Eckhard, 2004. "Wage trends and deflation risks in Germany and Europe," WSI Discussion Papers 124, Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaftliches Institut (WSI), Hans-Böckler-Stiftung.
  6. Andrew Glyn, 2003. "Labor Market Institutions and Unemployment: A Critical Assessment of the Cross-Country Evidence," Economics Series Working Papers 168, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  7. Christopher Allsopp, 2002. "The Future of Macroeconomic Policy in the European Union," Discussion Papers 07, Monetary Policy Committee Unit, Bank of England.
  8. David Soskice & Torben Iversen, 2001. "Multiple Wage Bargaining Systems in the Single European Currency Area," Empirica, Springer, vol. 28(4), pages 435-456, December.
  9. Schulten, Thorsten, 2004. "Foundations and Perspectives of Trade Union Wage Policy in Europe," WSI Discussion Papers 129, Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaftliches Institut (WSI), Hans-Böckler-Stiftung.
  10. Eckhard Hein & Achim Truger, 2004. "Macroeconomic co-ordination as an economic policy concept – opportunities and obstacles in the EMU," Macroeconomics 0412007, EconWPA.
  11. Eckhard Hein & Achim Truger, 2005. "What ever happened to Germany? Is the decline of the former european key currency country caused by structural sclerosis or by macroeconomic mismanagement?," International Review of Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 19(1), pages 3-28.
  12. Hein, Eckhard & Truger, Achim, 2005. "European Monetary Union: nominal convergence, real divergence and slow growth?," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 7-33, March.
  13. Boeri, Tito & Brugiavini, Agar & Calmfors, Lars (ed.), 2001. "The Role of Unions in the Twenty-first Century: A Report for the Fondazione Rodolfo Debenedetti," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199246588.
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:wpa:wuwpma:0412006. 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: (EconWPA)

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.