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Undergraduate Economic Review

2008 financial crisis

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Full-Text Articles in International Economics

Belgium’S 2008 Recentralization Of Wage-Setting Mechanisms And The Decentralization-Unit Labor Costs-Net Exports Link: Chronicle Of A Death Foretold?, Ines Pedro Fernandes Mar 2019

Belgium’S 2008 Recentralization Of Wage-Setting Mechanisms And The Decentralization-Unit Labor Costs-Net Exports Link: Chronicle Of A Death Foretold?, Ines Pedro Fernandes

Undergraduate Economic Review

Anchored on scholarly literature on international competitiveness and the classical definition of competitiveness as net exports, policy making institutions support decentralized wage-setting mechanisms. The rationale is that decentralized wage-setting systems lower wages and unit labor costs (ULC) and, therefore, increase net exports. This paper contains a literature review on the wage-setting–ULC–net exports link and challenges conventional rationales by examining the co-evolution of Belgium’s real wages and net exports across wage percentiles and sectors. Belgium is a case in point, since the country experienced both increasing real wages and increasing net exports after recentralizing wage-setting mechanisms in 2008.