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Journal of Economic Integration 1999 December;14(4) :572-605.
Do Labour Market Reforms Achieve a Double Dividend under EMU? Discretionary versus Rule-based Monetary Policy Revisited

Ansgar Belke Martina Kamp 

Ruhr-Universitaet Bochum
Copyright ©1999 Journal of Economic Integration
High equilibrium unemployment and the inflation bias in some EU countries require fundamental reforms of labour-market institutions. Impacts of different monetary regimes inside and outside EMU on the incentives for labour- market reforms are examined in a Barro - Gordon framework from the perspective of a single country. Monetary policy (discretionary versus rule-based) and the degree of labour-market reforms are determined simultaneously. It can be shown that discretionary policy outside EMU leads to a higher degree of reforms than rule based policy since in the former case reforms reduce both unemployment and the inflation bias. However, rule-based monetary policy inside EMU limits the benefits of reforms to a positive impact on employment. Nevertheless, total economy welfare under EMU is superior to the one under discretionary policy. Insofar as a superior instrument is available for the parallel reduction of the equilibrium inflation rate, namely a strict monetary policy rule, the higher degree of labour-market reforms under discretionary monetary policy outside EMU only signals a kind of an overshooting. (JEL Classifications: E52, E61, J38)
Keywords: European Monetary Union | inflation bias | labor market reform | monetary policy regime | political economy of structural unemployment
1. Saint-Paul, G. [1993], "On the Political Economy of Labour Market Flexibility," in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual; 151-187.
2. Walsh, C. [1995], "Optimal Contracts for Independent Central Bankers," American Economic Review 85; 150-167.
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Labour Market Reform and the Effectiveness of Monetary Policy in EMU  2003 December;18(4)
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