Empirical Economics

, Volume 47, Issue 2, pp 523–552 | Cite as

Wage spillovers across sectors in Eastern Europe

  • Gaetano D’Adamo


This paper studies the interactions between wages in the public sector and the private traded and non-traded sector in ten transition countries which are members of the European Union, during the period 2000–2011. The theoretical literature on wage spillovers, as well as the Balassa–Samuelson hypothesis, suggests that the internationally traded sector should be the leader in wage setting, with sheltered and public sector wages adjusting. Using a cointegrated VAR approach we show that a large heterogeneity across countries is present, and non-traded and public sector wages are often leaders in wage determination or at least affect traded sector wages in the short run. This result is relevant from a policy perspective since wage spillovers, leading to costs growing faster than productivity, may affect the international cost competitiveness of the traded sector and thus the catching-up process may be accompanied by accumulation of large international imbalances.


Cointegrated VAR Wage setting Wage leadership  Public sector 

JEL Classification

C32 E62 J31 



The author gratefully acknowledges financial support from the Spanish MINECO Project ECO2011-30260-C03-01. I am indebted to Riccardo Rovelli, Luca Fanelli, Katarina Juselius, Stephen Cecchetti, Efrem Castelnuovo, and participants at the VIII INTECO Workshop at the University of Valencia, as well as two anonymous referees, for detailed and enlightening comments.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Applied Economics IIUniversity of ValenciaValenciaSpain

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