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The interaction of labor markets and inflation: analysis of micro data from the International Wage Flexibility Project

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Author Info

  • William T. Dickens
  • Lorenz Goette
  • Erica L. Groshen
  • Steinar Holden
  • Julian Messina
  • Mark E. Schweitzer
  • Jarkko Turunen
  • Melanie Ward

Abstract

Inflation can “grease” the wheels of economic adjustment in the labor market by relieving the constraint imposed by downward nominal wage rigidity, but not if there is also substantial downward real wage rigidity. At the same time, inflation can throw “sand” in the wheels of economic adjustment by degrading the value of price signals. A number of recent studies suggest that wage rigidity is much more important for business cycles and monetary policy than previously believed (see Erceg, Henderson and Levin, 2000, Smets and Wouters, 2003, and Hall, 2005). Thus, our results on how wage rigidity and other labor market imperfections vary between countries and how they are affected by the rate of inflation should be of considerable value in formulating monetary policy and conducting related research.

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Bibliographic Info

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

Volume (Year): (2006)
Issue (Month): ()
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedfpr:y:2006:x:4

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References

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  2. Erceg, Christopher J. & Henderson, Dale W. & Levin, Andrew T., 2000. "Optimal monetary policy with staggered wage and price contracts," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 281-313, October.
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  4. Erica L. Groshen & Mark E. Schweitzer, 1996. "The effects of inflation on wage adjustments in firm-level data: grease or sand?," Staff Reports 9, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  5. Erica L. Groshen & Mark E. Schweitzer, 1997. "Identifying Inflation's Grease and Sand Effects in the Labor Market," NBER Working Papers 6061, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  23. Bauer, Thomas & Bonin, Holger & Sunde, Uwe, 2004. "Real and Nominal Wage Rigidities and the Rate of Inflation: Evidence from West German Microdata," CEPR Discussion Papers 4271, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  25. Baker, George & Gibbs, Michael & Holmstrom, Bengt, 1994. "The Wage Policy of a Firm," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 109(4), pages 921-55, November.
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