At the turn of the millenium three frequently cited potential causes of new challenges for wage policy in Germany are revisited in this study: skilled-biased technological progress, the increasing international integration of labor and product markets, and the monetary integration of the EMU. While there is now a fairly broad consensus on the basic facts about the development of wages and employment across skill groups, there is considerable disagreement to explain these trends, in particular to what extent skill-biased technical change and trade liberalization share a major responsibility. The conclusion of this paper is that both factors are at work with a slight emphasis on the first candidate. Moreover, while EMU in our opinion does not represent the major threat for wage policy, it is the Single Market which requires wage policy to be on the lookout and to meet those challenges.


Euro,European Monetary Union,Labour mobility