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Monetary Policy and Wage Bargaining in the EMU: Restrictive ECB Policies, High Unemployment, Nominal Wage Restraint and Rising Inflation

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  • Eckhard Hein

    (WSI in der Hans Böckler Stiftung)

Abstract

Assessing the effects of monetary policy and wage bargaining on employment and inflation in the European Monetary Union (EMU), in the first step a Post-Keynesian competitive claims model of inflation with endogenous money is developed. In this model the NAIRU is considered to be a short-run limit to employment enforced by independent and conservative central banks. In the long run, however, the NAIRU will follow actual unemployment and is therefore also dependent on the forces determining aggregate demand, including monetary policies. But the NAIRU may also be reduced by effectively co-ordinated wage bargaining as has been shown by institutional political economists. Applying these considerations to the economic performance of the EMU, different scenarios determined by wage bargaining co-ordination and the European Central Bank’s (ECB) monetary policies are developed. It is shown that the first phase of EMU was dominated by uncoordinated wage bargaining across EMU and an “anti-growth-bias” of the ECB. Therefore, the Euro area was plagued with nominal wage restraint, high unemployment and rising inflation. Economic performance will improve if the ECB abandons its asymmetric monetary strategy. This may be facilitated by a higher degree of effective wage bargaining co-ordination across EMU.

Suggested Citation

  • Eckhard Hein, 2005. "Monetary Policy and Wage Bargaining in the EMU: Restrictive ECB Policies, High Unemployment, Nominal Wage Restraint and Rising Inflation," Macroeconomics 0501010, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpma:0501010
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Paul Davidson, 1994. "Post Keynesian Macroeconomic Theory," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 124.
    2. Allsopp, Christopher & Vines, David, 1998. "The Assessment: Macroeconomic Policy after EMU," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 14(3), pages 1-23, Autumn.
    3. Eijffinger, S. & De Hann, J., 1995. "The Political Economy of Central Bank Independence," Papers 9587, Tilburg - Center for Economic Research.
    4. Ira N. Gang & Gil S. Epstein, 2002. "The Political Economy Of Kosher Wars," Departmental Working Papers 200227, Rutgers University, Department of Economics.
    5. Schulten, Thorsten, 2002. "Europeanisation of collective bargaining: An overview on trade union initiatives for a transnational coordination of collective bargaining policy," WSI Working Papers 101, The Institute of Economic and Social Research (WSI), Hans Böckler Foundation.
    6. Guy Debelle & Stanley Fischer, 1994. "How independent should a central bank be?," Conference Series ; [Proceedings], Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, vol. 38, pages 195-225.
    7. Arestis, Philip, 1996. "Post-Keynesian Economics: Towards Coherence," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 20(1), pages 111-135, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. Eckhard Hein & Torsten Niechoj, 2005. "Leitlinien für ein dauerhaftes Wachstum in der EU? Konzept und Wirkung der "Grundzüge der Wirtschaftspolitik"," Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft - WuG, Kammer für Arbeiter und Angestellte für Wien, Abteilung Wirtschaftswissenschaft und Statistik, vol. 31(1), pages 11-40.
    2. Eckhard Hein & Achim Truger & Till van Treeck, 2011. "The European Financial and Economic Crisis: Alternative Solutions from a (Post-) Keynesian Perspective," IMK Working Paper 9-2011, IMK at the Hans Boeckler Foundation, Macroeconomic Policy Institute.
    3. Truger, Achim & Hein, Eckhard, 2004. "Macroeconomic co-ordination as an economic policy concept : opportunities and obstacles in the EMU," WSI Working Papers 125, The Institute of Economic and Social Research (WSI), Hans Böckler Foundation.
    4. Hein, Eckhard & Truger, Achim, 2002. "European Monetary Union: Nominal convergence, real divergence and slow growth? An investigation into the effects of changing macroeconomic policy institutions associated with monetary union," WSI Working Papers 107, The Institute of Economic and Social Research (WSI), Hans Böckler Foundation.
    5. 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.
    6. Eckhard Hein & Christian Schoder, 2011. "Interest rates, distribution and capital accumulation -- A post-Kaleckian perspective on the US and Germany," International Review of Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 25(6), pages 693-723, November.
    7. Detzer, Daniel & Hein, Eckhard, 2014. "Financialisation and the financial and economic crises: The case of Germany," IPE Working Papers 44/2014, Berlin School of Economics and Law, Institute for International Political Economy (IPE).
    8. Eckhard Hein & Achim Truger, 2012. "Finance-dominated capitalism in crisis—the case for a global Keynesian New Deal," Journal of Post Keynesian Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 35(2), pages 187-213.
    9. Hein, Eckhard & Schulten, Thorsten, 2004. "Unemployment, Wages and Collective Bargaining in the European Union," WSI Working Papers 128, The Institute of Economic and Social Research (WSI), Hans Böckler Foundation.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    European Monetary Union; monetary policy; wage bargaining; inflation and employment;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics

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