The European Journal of Comparative Economics

ISSN: 1824-2979

EJCE Year: 2017, December. Volume: 14 - Issue: 2

Greece and the Troika Lessons from International Best Practice Cases of Successful Price (and Wage) Adjustment

by Ansgar Belke ; Daniel Gros

Start page: 177 - End page: 195

Keywords: Phillips curves, price and wage adjustment, internal devaluation, Australia, Greece, Latvia, Portugal, West vs. East Germany

Jel code: E31; F49

DOI: 10.25428/1824-2979/201702-177-195


This paper reviews cases of successful price and wage adjustment, which are often regarded as constituting best practice, Australia, Latvia and the newly-formed German states and contrasts them with the Greek experience under the Troika Program. Latvia stands out as having had the quickest adjustment in wages. By contrast, before the crisis, Greek wages appeared to have been largely insensitive to labour market conditions but this changed with the program. We find that the reaction of wages to unemployment in Greece under the program was increasingly similar to that observed in Germany and Portugal (a case which has attracted less attention). A priori it is likely that the change in wage behaviour in Greece was due to the labour market reforms imposed under the program. But this cannot be proven beyond doubt.

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