Macroeconomically oriented wage policies had largely gone out of fashion. Instead, the prevailing view was that wage setting is just another market process comparable to market processes in goods markets. However, these theoretical approaches ignore some fundamental aspects of wage setting. For example, no account at all is taken of the overall economic dimension of wages. And yet, through its impacts on income and distribution, wage setting has a direct influence on domestic demand and price levels. Since the launch of European Monetary Union (EMU), a further significant macroeconomic aspect has been added. The abolition of exchange rates has raised the problem of structural trade imbalances as a result of different competitive conditions in the national economies of the individual Member States. Wages are a major factor here. The following paper develops a wage policy concept that takes account of all these elements.
wage policy wages labour cost EMU France Germany Italy Spain