Review of World Economics vol:145 issue:1 pages:13-36
In recent years, Europe has witnessed an accelerated process of economic integration. Trade barriers were removed, the euro was introduced and ten new member states have joined the European Union. This paper analyzes how this process of increased economic integration has affected labor and product markets. To this end, we use a panel of Belgian manufacturing firms to estimate price-cost margins and union bargaining power and show how various measures of globalization affect them. We find that import competition puts pressure on both markups and union bargaining power, especially when there is increased competition from low wage countries. This suggests that increased globalization is associated with a moderation of wage claims in unionized countries, which should be associated with positive effects on employment.