Monday, April 4, 2011

The Wage Rate and Globalization

VoxEU on the Euro and competition for capital:
"This analysis leads to the conclusion that if the underlying problem of Europe’s periphery were lack of competitiveness, it should relate to the types of products they export (vis-à-vis Germany) and not to the fact that their labour is expensive (their wage rates are substantially lower), or that labour productivity has not increased (it has significantly). The problem is that they are stuck in the manufacturing goods also produced by many other countries, especially the low-wage countries. Reducing wages would not solve the problem. What would an across-the-board reduction in nominal wages of 20%–30% achieve? The most obvious effect would be a very significant compression of demand. But would this measure restore competitiveness? We argue that it would not allow many firms to compete with German firms, which export a different basket, and in all likelihood it will not be enough to be able to compete with China’s wages." -VoxEU
This is more confirmation of the point that competition for capital along varying economies transfers market shares to economies which demand less labor compensation. This same process depresses the average for this and other standards across the board.

HT: Yves Smith at Naked Capitalism

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