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.
The theoretical literature has argued that a centralized wage bargaining system may result in low regional wage differentiation and high regional unemployment differentials. The empirical literature has found that centralized wage bargaining leads to lower wage inequality for different skills, industries and population groups, but has not investigated its impact on regional wage differentiation. Empirical evidence in this paper for EU regions for the period 1980-2000 suggests that countries with more coordinated wage bargaining systems have lower regional wage differentials, after controlling for regional productivity and unemployment differentials.