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Should monetary policy target labor's share of income?

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  • Jeremy Rudd
  • Karl Whelan

Abstract

In recent work, Woodford (2001) presents evidence that using real unit labor costs (labor's share of income) as a driving variable in the new-Keynesian Phillips curve yields a superior fit for inflation relative to a model that uses deterministically detrended real GDP. This evidence leads him to conclude that the output gap the deviation between actual and potential output is better captured by the labor income share, in turn implying that the monetary authority should raise interest rates in response to increases in this variable. We document that the empirical case for the superiority of the labor's share version of the new-Keynesian model is actually quite weak, and conclude that there is little reason to view the labor income share as an appropriate target for monetary policy.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco in its journal Proceedings.

Volume (Year): (2002)
Issue (Month): Mar ()
Pages:

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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedfpr:y:2002:i:mar:x:4

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Keywords: Monetary policy;

References

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  1. Gali, Jordi & Gertler, Mark, 1999. "Inflation dynamics: A structural econometric analysis," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(2), pages 195-222, October.
  2. Argia M. Sbordone, 2001. "Prices and Unit Labor Costs: A New Test of Price Stickiness," Departmental Working Papers 199822, Rutgers University, Department of Economics.
  3. Julio J. Rotemberg & Michael Woodford, 1999. "The Cyclical Behavior of Prices and Costs," NBER Working Papers 6909, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Jeff Fuhrer & George Moore, 1993. "Inflation persistence," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Mar.
  5. Argia Sbordone, 2002. "An optimizing model of U.S. wage and price dynamics," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Mar.
  6. Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Charles Evans, 2001. "Nominal rigidities and the dynamic effects of a shock to monetary policy," Working Paper 0107, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
  7. Michael Dotsey & Robert G. King, 2005. "Pricing, production, and persistence," Working Papers 05-4, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  8. Jeremy Rudd & Karl Whelan, 2001. "New tests of the New-Keynesian Phillips curve," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2001-30, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  9. Marvin Goodfriend & Robert G. King, 2001. "The Case for Price Stability," NBER Working Papers 8423, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Campbell, John & Deaton, Angus, 1989. "Why Is Consumption So Smooth?," Scholarly Articles 3221494, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  11. Michael Woodford, 2001. "The Taylor Rule and Optimal Monetary Policy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(2), pages 232-237, May.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Paloviita , Maritta, 2004. "Inflation dynamics in the euro area and the role of expectations: further results," Research Discussion Papers 21/2004, Bank of Finland.
  2. Coenen, Günter & Wieland, Volker, 2002. "Inflation dynamics and international linkages: a model of the United States, the euro area and Japan," Working Paper Series 0181, European Central Bank.
  3. Coenen, Gunter, 2007. "Inflation persistence and robust monetary policy design," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 111-140, January.
  4. Paloviita, Maritta & Mayes, David, 2004. "The use of real-time information in Phillips curve relationships for the euro area," Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies 2004,28, Deutsche Bundesbank, Research Centre.
  5. Maritta Paloviita, 2006. "Inflation Dynamics in the Euro Area and the Role of Expectations," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 31(4), pages 847-860, November.
  6. Maritta Paloviita, 2004. "Inflation dynamics in the euro area and the role of expectations," Macroeconomics 0405015, EconWPA.
  7. Lars Sondergaard, 2003. "Using Instrumental Variables to Estimate the Share of Backward- Looking Firms," Macroeconomics 0308009, EconWPA.

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