The chapter presents a timeline and an analysis of economic and social policy in Finland. Finland is an example of an étatiste late industrialiser, in which the post-war…
The chapter presents a timeline and an analysis of economic and social policy in Finland. Finland is an example of an étatiste late industrialiser, in which the post-war period up to the mid-1980s was a phase of catching up and energetic mobilisation of resources. The policy regime relied on vigorous State intervention comparable to that of the Asian tiger regimes, in Finland's case motivated also by the stringent geopolitical constraints of Cold War. Public saving contributed to a high rate of capital accumulation, credit was rationed to favour manufacturing investment and corporatist incomes policy was used to sustain the profitability of key export industries. Keynesian demand management was largely neglected, and the high growth rate was associated with large fluctuations and devaluations cycles. The credit and financial market liberalisation of the 1980s resulted in overheating, a deep recession and a failure of the attempted fixed exchange rate anchor. In the 1990s, incomes policy was used to boost the rise of the information technology sector, whereas monetary stability was sought by a strive towards EMU membership. Finland's long-run growth performance has been good, but economic policy will be challenged by the sharp deterioration of the dependency ratio as well as the politics of right-wing nationalism. The wage setting regime is in a state of flux.
The chapter presents a historical and economic analysis of Nordic wage formation, with a special focus on how collective agreements really work. A stereotypical…
The chapter presents a historical and economic analysis of Nordic wage formation, with a special focus on how collective agreements really work. A stereotypical interpretation of the evolution of Nordic wage bargaining systems is that a centralised setting of wages has gradually been substituted with more decentralised pay bargaining. This overlooks the fact that central organisations could never really control wage levels, even in the golden age of centralised bargaining. Instead, central pay bargains defined minimum wage changes that ensured that local conflicts would be ruled out. Moreover, the central stipulations could often be overruled or adjusted at the local level. Following insights of Teulings and Hartog, we argue that the main function of Nordic collective agreements has always been to rule out local conflicts that would otherwise be initiated to seek local rents. Thus, collective agreements combine macroeconomic flexibility with adequate investment incentives at the local level. In this crucial sense, Nordic collective agreements are a completely stable institution. The most important transformation that has taken place is that formal peak bargaining on mean pay increases has been substituted with pattern bargaining where the manufacturing industry acts as a wage leader. Economic theory suggests that this almost amounts to centralised pay setting.
This volume reports results from the Nordic Economic Policy project. The project issued a number of reports in the late 1980s. A bibliography of research until the early 1990s is available in Mjøset (1993), and a later programmatic survey (with extensive references) is available in Mjøset (2006).
This analysis attempts a comparative specification of certain aspects of the country studies contained in this volume. The point of departure is the banking crises of the…
This analysis attempts a comparative specification of certain aspects of the country studies contained in this volume. The point of departure is the banking crises of the early 1990s (deep in Finland, Norway and Sweden, mini-crisis in Denmark and absent in Iceland) and the contrast to Iceland's financial meltdown in 2007/2008 (no crisis in the three, a new mini-crisis in Denmark). Detailed process tracing of the Icelandic crisis is provided. The case account is then used to shed light on the different roles of neoliberalism, economics expert knowledge and populist right-wing party formation in the five Nordic political economies.
This paper aims to explore the incidence of nominal and real wage cuts in the Finnish private sector during the 1990s.
Estimation of econometric models for the probability of wage cuts using individual‐level wage survey data from the payroll records of the Finnish employers' organizations.
Centralized nominal wage freezes together with a positive inflation rate produced real wage cuts for a large proportion of workers during the worst recession years of the early 1990s. Hence, centralized bargaining shaped the adjustment. The share of nominal wage cuts does not increase with falling inflation, which is consistent with downward wage rigidities. Full‐time workers have had a lower likelihood of wage cuts compared with part‐time workers. Declines in wages have also been more common in small plants. There is an important transitory component in wage cuts.
Provides useful information about the adjustment of wages at the individual level.
Few papers have analysed individual and employer characteristics that account for wage cuts. The paper contributes to the literature on wage rigidity.