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Wage trends and deflation risks in Germany and Europe

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  • Truger, Achim
  • Schulten, Thorsten
  • Hein, Eckhard

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Truger, Achim & Schulten, Thorsten & Hein, Eckhard, 2004. "Wage trends and deflation risks in Germany and Europe," WSI Working Papers 124, The Institute of Economic and Social Research (WSI), Hans-Böckler-Foundation.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:wsidps:124
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Eckhard Hein & Achim Truger, 2004. "Macroeconomic co-ordination as an economic policy concept - opportunities and obstacles in the EMU," Macroeconomics 0408011, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Mankiw, N Gregory, 2001. "The Inexorable and Mysterious Tradeoff between Inflation and Unemployment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(471), pages 45-61, May.
    3. 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.
    4. Mark Gertler & Jordi Gali & Richard Clarida, 1999. "The Science of Monetary Policy: A New Keynesian Perspective," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(4), pages 1661-1707, December.
    5. 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.
    6. Hein, Eckhard, 1999. "Interest Rates, Income Shares, and Investment in a Kaleckian Model," MPRA Paper 18607, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. 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.
    8. Flassbeck, Heiner & Maier-Rigaud, Remi, 2003. "Auf der schiefen Bahn: Die deutsche Lohnpolitik verschärft die Krise," Wirtschaftsdienst – Zeitschrift für Wirtschaftspolitik (1949 - 2007), ZBW – German National Library of Economics / Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, vol. 83(3), pages 170-177.
    9. 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.
    10. 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.).
    11. Bernanke, Ben S, 1995. "The Macroeconomics of the Great Depression: A Comparative Approach," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 27(1), pages 1-28, February.
    12. Buiter, Willem H., 2003. "Deflation: Prevention and Cure," CEPR Discussion Papers 3869, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    13. 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.
    14. Mark Gertler & Jordi Gali & Richard Clarida, 1999. "The Science of Monetary Policy: A New Keynesian Perspective," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(4), pages 1661-1707, December.
    15. Hein, Eckhard, 2003. "Die NAIRU: Eine post-keynesianische Interpretation," WSI Working Papers 113, The Institute of Economic and Social Research (WSI), Hans-Böckler-Foundation.
    16. 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.
    17. 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.
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    Citations

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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, 2004. "Macroeconomic co-ordination as an economic policy concept - opportunities and obstacles in the EMU," Macroeconomics 0408011, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Beniamino Moro, 2005. "The economists "Manifesto" unemployment in the EU seven years later: which suggestions still hold?," Banca Nazionale del Lavoro Quarterly Review, Banca Nazionale del Lavoro, vol. 58(233-234), pages 49-66.
    4. Tangian, Andranik & Seifert, Hartmut, 2006. "Globalization and deregulation : Does flexicurity protect atypically employed?," WSI Working Papers 143, The Institute of Economic and Social Research (WSI), Hans-Böckler-Foundation.
    5. Herr, Hansjörg, 2009. "Time, expectations and financial markets," IPE Working Papers 03/2009, Berlin School of Economics and Law, Institute for International Political Economy (IPE).
    6. Schulten, Thorsten, 2004. "Foundations and Perspectives of Trade Union Wage Policy in Europe," WSI Working Papers 129, The Institute of Economic and Social Research (WSI), Hans-Böckler-Foundation.
    7. 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.
    8. 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.
    9. Beniamino Moro, 2005. "Il “Manifesto” contro la disoccupazione nell’UE sette anni dopo: quali suggerimenti sono sempre attuali?," Moneta e Credito, Economia civile, vol. 58(230-231), pages 51-69.
    10. Seifert, Hartmut & Tangian, Andranik, 2007. "Flexicurity: Reconciling Social Security with Flexibility - Empirical Findings for Europe," WSI Working Papers 154, The Institute of Economic and Social Research (WSI), Hans-Böckler-Foundation.
    11. Tangian, Andranik, 2008. "On the European readiness for flexicurity: Empirical evidence with OECD/HBS methodologies and reform proposals," WSI Working Papers 160, The Institute of Economic and Social Research (WSI), Hans-Böckler-Foundation.
    12. Tangian, Andranik, 2012. "Statistical test for the mathematical theory of democracy," WSI Working Papers 179, The Institute of Economic and Social Research (WSI), Hans-Böckler-Foundation.
    13. Tangian, Andranik, 2007. "Flexibility-Flexicurity-Flexinsurance: Response to the European Commission's Green Paper "Modernising Labour Law to Meet the Challenges of the 21st Century"," WSI Working Papers 149, The Institute of Economic and Social Research (WSI), Hans-Böckler-Foundation.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Wage trends; deflation; collective bargaining;

    JEL classification:

    • E50 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - General
    • E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation

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