Do some countries in the Eurozone need an internal devaluation? A reassessment of what unit labour costs really mean

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Series Details 31.3.11
Publication Date 31/03/2011
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The problem with Greece, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, and Spain is that they are uncompetitive and need to internally devalue – or so the argument goes. This column challenges this conclusion by pointing out that the measure used to back it up – unit labour costs – is flawed and misguided. Europe’s periphery lack of competitiveness is related to the types of products they export and not to the fact that their labour is expensive. is a policy portal set up by the Centre for Economic Policy Research in conjunction with a consortium of national sites, including the Italian site LaVoce, the French site Telos and the Spanish site Sociedad Abierta. Vox aims to promote research-based policy analysis and commentary by leading scholars. The intended audience is economists in governments, international organisations, academia and the private sector as well as journalists specializing in economics, finance and business.

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