Rethinking wage policy in the face of the Euro crisis: Implications of the wage-led demand regime

Onaran, Ozlem and Stockhammer, Engelbert (2011) Rethinking wage policy in the face of the Euro crisis: Implications of the wage-led demand regime. (Discussion Paper) Kingston upon Thames, U.K. : Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Kingston University. 20 p. (Economics Discussion Paper, no. 2011/2)

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Ten years after its introduction, the Euro is in an existential crisis. The crisis is the outcome of economic policies that have aimed at labour market flexibility and financial integration. The paper argues, firstly, that the aggregate demand regime in the Euro area is wage led. While an increase in wages (other things equal) does have a negative effect on investment and on net exports, it does have a positive effect on consumption. As the Euro area is a relatively closed economy the consumption effect overpowers the investment effect and the export effect. Secondly, we argue that in the Euro area two growth models have emerged: a credit-led and an export-led model. These have given rise to the imbalances that are at the heart of the Euro crisis. Wage flexibility has proven insufficient to prevent these imbalances. Thirdly, we advocate a system of coordinated wage bargaining that aims at wages rising in line with productivity growth and a substantially upward-revised inflation target. If the project of European economic integration is to survive, it needs a drastic change in direction. An important building block of this redirection is a rethinking of the role of wage policy.

Item Type: Monograph (Discussion Paper)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Euro crisis; European integration; wage policy; Keynesian economics
Research Area: Economics and econometrics
Faculty, School or Research Centre: Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (until 2017) > School of Economics (until November 2012)
Depositing User: Susan Miles
Date Deposited: 09 Jul 2014 11:55
Last Modified: 06 Nov 2014 15:18

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