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 paper analyzes the macroeconomic implications of different systems of industrial relations. After reviewing the relevant literature, and analyzing cross-country evidence, the paper focuses on the experience of centralized bargaining characterizing Spain in the period 1979-86. The paper argues, in accordance with the literature and the cross-country evidence, that the centralization of bargaining yielded positive macroeconomic effects in Spain, and thus that the shift toward a more decentralized setting after 1987 carries several risks. This conclusion is based on an empirical analysis of the wage setting process and of the evolution of labor shares in income.