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Wage trends and deflation risks in Germany and Europe

  • Eckhard Hein

    (WSI in der Hans Boeckler Stiftung)

  • Thorsten Schulten

    (WSI in der Hans Boeckler Stiftung)

  • Achim Truger

    (WSI in der Hans Boeckler Stiftung)

Based on a post-Keynesian model of the relationship between wages, prices and employment, this paper begins by studying the extent to which unit labour cost trends have been responsible for disinflation and deflationary tendencies in Germany and Europe. Thereafter, the reasons for the deflationary development of unit labour costs in recent years, in particular in Germany, are analysed. Finally, the impact of deflationary wage policies on German and European stagnation are discussed and it is concluded that the excessive wage restraint in Germany not only exacerbates stagnation and deflationary tendencies in Germany but might also have a deflationary impact on the other EMU countries.

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Paper provided by EconWPA in its series Macroeconomics with number 0412008.

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Length: 29 pages
Date of creation: 10 Dec 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpma:0412008
Note: Type of Document - pdf; pages: 29
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  1. 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?," Macroeconomics 0501007, EconWPA.
  2. Willem H. Buiter, 2003. "Deflation: Prevention and Cure," NBER Working Papers 9623, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Ben S. Bernanke, 1994. "The Macroeconomics of the Great Depression: A Comparative Approach," NBER Working Papers 4814, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Mankiw, N Gregory, 2001. "The Inexorable and Mysterious Tradeoff between Inflation and Unemployment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(471), pages C45-61, May.
  5. Eckhard Hein & Carsten Ochsen, 2003. "Regimes of Interest Rates, Income Shares, Savings and Investment: A Kaleckian Model and Empirical Estimations for some Advanced OECD Economies," Metroeconomica, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 54(4), pages 404-433, November.
  6. Hein, Eckhard, 2003. "Die NAIRU: Eine post-keynesianische Interpretation," WSI Discussion Papers 113, Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaftliches Institut (WSI), Hans-Böckler-Stiftung.
  7. Richard Clarida & Jordi Gali & Mark Gertler, 1999. "The Science of Monetary Policy: A New Keynesian Perspective," NBER Working Papers 7147, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Olivier Blanchard & Lawrence F. Katz, 1997. "What We Know and Do Not Know about the Natural Rate of Unemployment," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(1), pages 51-72, Winter.
  9. Alan G. Ahearne & Joseph E. Gagnon & Jane Haltmaier & Steve Kamin ... [et al.]., 2002. "Preventing deflation: lessons from Japan's experience in the 1990s," International Finance Discussion Papers 729, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  10. Eckhard Hein & Achim Truger, 2004. "Macroeconomic co-ordination as an economic policy concept – opportunities and obstacles in the EMU," Macroeconomics 0412007, EconWPA.
  11. Hein, Eckhard, 1999. "Interest Rates, Income Shares, and Investment in a Kaleckian Model," MPRA Paper 18607, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  12. 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, July.
  13. Flassbeck, Heiner & Maier-Rigaud, Remi, 2003. "Auf der schiefen Bahn: Die deutsche Lohnpolitik verschärft die Krise," Wirtschaftsdienst – Zeitschrift für Wirtschaftspolitik (1998 - 2007), ZBW – German National Library of Economics / Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, vol. 83(3), pages 170-177.
  14. 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.
  15. Philip Arestis & Malcolm Sawyer, 2002. "'New Consensus,' New Keynesianism, and the Economics of the 'Third Way'," Economics Working Paper Archive wp_364, Levy Economics Institute.
  16. George A. Akerlof & William R. Dickens & George L. Perry, 1996. "The Macroeconomics of Low Inflation," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 27(1), pages 1-76.
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