The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
Christiane Krieger-Boden, Dirk Dohse, and Rüdiger Soltwedel
INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND
This paper discusses the challenges that European Monetary Union (EMU) poses for European labor markets, emphasizing in particular the regional dimension of the European unemployment problem. The authors argue that the inability of labor markets to adjust to shocks is largely a regional problem within EMU member countries, requiring structural reforms to enhance labor market flexibility but also a decentralization of competencies and greater diversity of labor market outcomes. Any attempt to successfully reform European labor markets and “make them fit for EMU” has to take into account the regional–and even a more decentralized firm–perspective.