Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Are higher wages good for business? An assessment under alternative innovation and investment scenarios

Caiani, Alessandro and Russo, Alberto and Gallegati, Mauro (2017): Are higher wages good for business? An assessment under alternative innovation and investment scenarios.

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Abstract

This paper aims at investigating the interplay between inequality, innovation dynamics, and investment behaviors in shaping the long-run patterns of development of a closed economy. By extending the analysis proposed in Caiani et al. (2017) we explore the effects of alternative wage regimes under different investment and technological change scenarios. Experiments results seem to de-emphasize the role of technological progress as a possible source of greater inequality. Overall, simulation results are consistent with the predominance of a wage-led growth regime in most of the scenarios analyzed: a faster growth of low and middle level workers’ wages, relative to managers’, generally exert beneficial effects on the economy and allows to counteract the labor-saving effects of technological progress. Furthermore, contrary to what is sometimes argued in the academic and political debate, a distribution more favorable to workers does not compromise firms’ profitability, but rather strengthen it creating a more favorable macroeconomic environment which encourages further innovations, stimulates investment, and sustains economic growth.

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