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Wage Policy in the Eurozone


Philippe Pochet

The single currency became a tangible reality for citizens with the entry into circulation of euro notes and coins. Nonetheless, without any other institutions of a federal kind, this centralisation of monetary policy raises a number of questions. This volume addresses one key aspect of the matter: what type of wage policy is best suited to a unified monetary area? After describing the past situation and present-day implications, it offers various hypotheses as to possible forms of wage policy at European level. The authors’ aim is to put forward a wide range of views, both as to what would be desirable in terms of economic efficiency and what appears likely in terms of the stakeholders and policies.
The second part of this book examines wage policy developments in five Member States (Germany, Belgium, Spain, Ireland and France) where the nature of wage co-ordination differs. It is also evident from recent developments in all of these countries that nothing is set in stone.
This publication, compiled by well-known experts in the field of industrial relations, explores the various possible scenarios and their consequences in respect of equity and efficiency.
Contents: Philippe Pochet: Preface and Introduction – Jelle Visser: Unions, Wage Bargaining and Co-ordination in European Labour Markets - The Past Twenty Years and the Near Future – Anne Dufresne: Wage Co-ordination in Europe: Roots and Routes – Franz Traxler: Wage Policy, Bargaining Institutions and Monetary Policy: Empirical Findings and Policy Implications for European Monetary Union – Bob Hancké: The Political Economy of Wage-Setting in the Eurozone – Anke Hassel: A New Going Rate? Co-ordinated Wage Bargaining in Europe – Luc Denayer/Robert Tollet: Institutional Mechanisms of Wage-Setting in Belgium – Rory O’Donnell/Colm O’Reardon: Ireland: Recasting Social Partnership in a New Context – Antonio González/Elena Gutiérrez: Spain: Collective Bargaining and Wage Determination – Reinhard Bispinck/Thorsten Schulten: Germany: Problems of a Competition-oriented Collective Bargaining Policy – Olivier Barrat/Carlos Yakubovich/Joël Maurice: Evolution of Collective Wage Bargaining in France.