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Centralisation of Wage Bargaining and Macroeconomic Performance: A Survey

Lars Calmfors

No 131, OECD Economics Department Working Papers from OECD Publishing

Abstract: Starting from the theoretical argument underlying the “hump shape” hypothesis, the paper investigates the various dimensions of centralisation in the wage formation process. The diversity of effects discussed in the paper makes it harder to arrive at unambiguous policy conclusions. Careful analysis of the various features and economy-wide direct as well as indirect effect of the degree of centralisation in the wage formation process suggests that there exists various trade-offs, the most important of which appears to be that between real wage restraint and relative wage flexibility: centralisation favours the former but reduces the latter. This suggests that its effect on macroeconomic performance depends on the type of shocks affecting the economy ... Cette tude analyse les divers aspects de la centralisation dans le processus de formation des salaires en s'appuyant sur l'hypothse thorique de "courbe en U inverse". La diversit des effets analyss rend ambigu les conclusions politiques qui peuvent tre tires de ce papier. Une tude minutieuse des divers aspects de la centralisation et de leurs effets tant directs qu'indirects, sur le processus de formation des salaires suggre qu'il existe diffrent choix d'objectifs, le plus important semble tre entre la contrainte de salaire rel et la flexibilit du salaire relatif : la centralisation favorise le premier et affaiblit le second. Ceci suggre que l'impact sur la performance macro-conomique dpend du type de choc affectant l'conomie ...

Date: 1993-04-01
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