Unions, Public Employers, and the EMU: Understanding Wage Dynamics in the German and Italian Public Sectors
Donato Di Carlo (doctoral project)
Of the four standard policy instruments that can be used for macroeconomic adjustment, in the EMU, monetary and exchange rate policy are decided at the supranational level; a full-fledged fiscal policy is severely constrained by the Stability and Growth Pact. Under such conditions, wage policy remains a key trigger for country-specific stabilization or destabilization. Comparative Political Economy (CPE) has studied extensively the characteristics of export sector wage setting. However, much less is known about the endogenous conditions and processes of wage setting in the public sector. The purpose of this doctoral project is to shed light on the determinants of - divergent - public sector wage setting in Germany and Italy over the course of the first decade of EMU (1999-2008). It relies on a comparative-historical analysis (CHA) approach to bring together insights from CPE, fiscal sociology, and industrial relations theory. The project aims to make an important contribution to the longstanding debate in European CPE, dating back to the 1970s, about the relationship between public sector employment relations, wage setting, and macroeconomic outcomes. Project duration: October 2015 to March 2019.