Strike Waves and Wage Explosions, 1968–1970: an Economic Interpretation

  • David Soskice


The low level of industrial conflict in post-war Europe was paralleled by annual wage inflation rates seldom above 10 per cent and price inflation typically below 5 per cent and the rise in strike activity in the late 1960s was accompanied by inflation rates at a noticeably higher level. The North American experience bears some similarities: conflictuality and inflation have been higher in the 1970s than at any previous time since the Second World War. But there are important differences. In the industrialised countries of Western Europe the change in conditions (between 1968 and 1970 in each country discussed here) has the character of a break; in the USA and Canada the development begins earlier (in the mid 1960s) and builds up more gradually.


Labour Market Real Wage Money Supply Unit Labour Cost National Union 
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Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1978

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  • David Soskice

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